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Rediff.com  » Business » Fate of 169 McDonald's outlets hanging in balance

Fate of 169 McDonald's outlets hanging in balance

September 11, 2017 14:16 IST

CPRL Board may meet this week to decide if the outlets in the north and east of India can be kept open till the matter is settled in courts

The role of the administrator of Connaught Plaza Restaurants Ltd (CPRL) is set to gain precedence in the battle between estranged partners Vikram Bakshi and McDonald's India Ltd (MIPL).

While the two fight it out and the matter is slated for next hearing on September 21, Justice G S Singhvi, who is the administrator on the board of CPRL, will now decide on whether the 169 stores in the north and east of India can remain open till the time the matter is settled in courts.

 

For this, a board meet is likely to be called this week, persons in the know said.

Justice Singhvi had deferred the matter on September 6, when the last board meet was held, asking both parties to wait for the outcome of the court hearing on September 7.

Bakshi had said on September 7 that outlets would remain open, while MIPL had said that it would take steps to enforce the termination it had issued last month.

Justice Singhvi is now expected to hear what both sides have to say on the matter.

MIPL representatives, who have two seats on CRPL's board, had attended the September 6 board meet after giving earlier meetings a miss.

Bakshi and his wife, the other two board members, have been in attendance all along.

Sources say it was Bakshi who had asked for a board meet to be called at the earliest after the matter pertaining to his plea regarding the termination of the licence agreement by MIPL in the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) was deferred to September 21.

Around 6,500 people are directly employed by CPRL to run the 169 outlets.

While Bakshi (with Bakshi Holdings) and MIPL hold an equal number of equity shares in CPRL, over the years MIPL had pumped in Rs 193 crore (Rs 1.93 billion) against non-convertible preference shares.

To initiate its business with a fresh approach and a new partner, MIPL, sources say, is now considering writing off its investments in CPRL.

Bakshi has said that he was resolute in his determination to fight the injustice by MIPL (for terminating the license agreement) that would affect the livelihood of many people.

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), which show-caused MIPL last week for contempt of court, will now hear the matter on September 20.

Bakshi had pressed an application citing interference by MIPL in the affairs of CPRL for which the NCLT had sought a clarification from MIPL.

Photograph: Fred Prouser/Reuters

Viveat Susan Pinto in Mumbai
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