McDonald's skips licensee board meet

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McDonald’s today stayed away from the board meeting of Connaught Plaza Restaurants Ltd (CPRL) — licensee of the fast food chain in north and east India — called by the NCLT-appointed administrator.
According to a PTI report: However, Justice G S Singhvi, a former Supreme Court judge, appointed as the administrator by the NCLT, went ahead and conducted the board meeting with representation of two members from the side of Vikram Bakshi, McDonald’s estranged partner.
“The board meeting was conducted today and I have sent the minutes of meeting to the members of the board of directors,” Justice Singhvi told PTI.
Asked about presence of McDonald’s representatives in the meeting, Justice Singhvi told PTI: “No, they did not participate.”
CPRL, an equal joint venture between McDonald’s India and entrepreneur Bakshi, has four board members — two foreign directors from McDonald’s, along with Bakshi and his wife.
When contacted, McDonald’s India spokesperson Barry Sum was quoted by PTI as saying: “Our understanding is that it was necessary to put today’s board meeting on hold in view of the NCLAT order passed on August 25.”
He further told PTI: “Accordingly, we had made a request to the administrator to defer today’s board meeting pending the NCLAT hearing scheduled for August 30.”
Bakshi, however, was quoted by PTI as saying: “The administrator was very clear that the board meeting has to happen.”
The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) had on August 25 asked US fast food giant McDonald’s and its estranged Indian JV partner Bakshi to consider settling their dispute among themselves.
Directing to list the matter on August 30, the NCLAT had asked both sides to explore “amicable settlement on certain terms and conditions”.
The NCLAT decision came on the appeal filed by the US- based food chain against the NCLT order dated July 13 that reinstated Bakshi as the MD of CPRL and restrained McDonald’s from interfering in the functioning of CPRL.
Earlier, on August 21, Justice Singhvi had deferred board meeting to August 29 after McDonald’s did not turn up.
Bakshi was ousted from the post at McDonald’s franchisee in August 2013, following which he approached the NCLT (erstwhile Company Law Board) in September the same year. He has been at loggerheads with McDonald’s over management of CPRL.

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