Legal recourse: Valli slaps legal notice on Murugappa group

By: |
October 9, 2020 5:00 AM

Valli has pointed out how other less qualified and less experienced family members have been appointed to the board simply because they were male.

“With the family voting unanimously to reject appointment to the AIL board, we have seemingly reached the end of the road for an amicable settlement,” she said in a statement.“With the family voting unanimously to reject appointment to the AIL board, we have seemingly reached the end of the road for an amicable settlement,” she said in a statement.

Valli Arunachalam, who has been fighting for representation in the Murugappa Group holding company Ambadi Investments (AIL) or an amicable settlement, on Thursday said that she has issued a legal notice to AIL, family members of the Murugappa Group and others. Valli is the daughter of the conglomerate’s late executive chairman, MV Murugappan, and following his death in 2017, she, her sister and their mother hold an 8.15% stake in AIL. “We have decided to seek legal remedies with respect to our ongoing efforts to settle my father’s will,” she said in a statement.

Valli’s repeated requests for a board seat or an amicable settlement, with the assistance of independent mediators, have been ignored by the family. US-based Arunachalam had offered the 8.15% stake to the other branches of the family asking them to buy it.

Last month, AIL shareholders comprising largely family members, voted against a resolution to appoint her a non-executive director of the company with 91.36% of votes cast against her appointment.

“With the family voting unanimously to reject appointment to the AIL board, we have seemingly reached the end of the road for an amicable settlement,” she said in a statement.

Valli has pointed out how other less qualified and less experienced family members have been appointed to the board simply because they were male.

Valli said a considerable portion of her late father’s estate has been tied to AIL, and it was entirely unreasonable to expect her family to relinquish control and visibility over these holdings to the broader Murugappa family. To date, no logical or legally valid explanation has been provided by the Murugappa family as to why her family should be subordinated in this manner. “Given how the Murugappa family has treated our family branch over the past three years, we have no confidence that our substantial stake in the family business will be safeguarded by them. Perhaps most confounding to us is that the Murugappa family has attempted to project their stand as principled and righteous,” Valli said.

Under the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005, women can become the karta or head of the family and daughters can become co-parceners and inherit as much as sons. Arunachalam is the karta of the MVM Hindu undivided family, which holds the stake in Ambadi Investments. AIL is the holding company of the `38,000- crore Murugappa Group.

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