McDonald’s vs Vikram Bakshi: Fast food major snubs offer of talks

By: | Published: August 31, 2017 5:39 AM

US-based fast-food major McDonald’s on Wednesday ruled out any settlement with Vikram Bakshi, its estranged Indian partner for the north and east of the country, before the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT).

McDonalds, Vikram Bakshi, National Company Law Appellate Tribunal, NCLAT, USUS-based fast-food major McDonald’s on Wednesday ruled out any settlement with Vikram Bakshi, its estranged Indian partner for the north and east of the country, before the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT).(Image: IE)

US-based fast-food major McDonald’s on Wednesday ruled out any settlement with Vikram Bakshi, its estranged Indian partner for the north and east of the country, before the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT). Though Bakshi’s counsel was ready for talks, McDonald’s emphatically rejected any such possibility.  As a result, the NCLAT issued notices to both the parties over their cross-petitions, directing them to file replies, and posted the matter for the next hearing on September 21. “Without going into the merit…we find that there is no chance of any settlement,” observed NCLAT chairman justice SJ Mukhopadhaya.

The NCLAT had last week asked both the parties to decide by August 30 whether they would consider settling the dispute on their own or not.
During the proceedings, counsel representing McDonald’s questioned the conduct of Bakshi in running the joint venture firm, Connaught Plaza Restaurant (CPRL), which operated 169 outlets in the north and east. “Substantial sum of money has been siphoned off (from CPRL) in last weeks,” submitted senior advocate Rajiv Nayyar appearing on behalf of McDonald’s.

However, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for Bakshi, said that they were ready to settle the matter but McDonald’s is not.
Meanwhile, Bakshi has also filed a petition against McDonald’s citing violations by McDonald’s in implementing the orders passed by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). McDonald’s had on August 21 terminated the franchisee agreement for the 169 outlets in the north and east operated by CPRL. As part of the termination, CPRL was to cease the use of the McDonald’s name, system, trademark, designs and its associated intellectual property, among others, within 15 days of the termination notice.

Last week, McDonald’s had moved the appellate tribunal challenging the orders of the NCLT that reinstated Bakshi as the managing director of the 50:50 JV firm CPRL. McDonald’s and Bakshi have been at loggerheads since 2013 over control of CPRL and an arbitration proceeding has been initiated by the fast-food chain at the London Court of International Arbitration. McDonald’s had in 2013 voted against the reappointment of Bakshi as managing director of CPRL. Bakshi subsequently challenged his ouster at the Company Law Board (now NCLT), accusing McDonald’s of mismanagement and oppression.

The tribunal had also said in its order last month that the meeting of CPRL of August 6, 2013, in which Bakshi was removed as MD of the company was illegal, unjust and mala fide. The NCLT had also appointed former Supreme Court judge GS Singhvi to act as administrator in the company with power to vote

 

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