New Delhi: McDonald’s India Pvt. Ltd, the local unit of the US-based fast-food chain, has approached Delhi high court to enforce a London arbitration court award against its estranged partner Vikram Bakshi.
The London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), in its 13 September award, asked Bakshi to sell his stake in Connaught Plaza Restaurants Ltd (CPRL), McDonald’s franchisee for northern and eastern India, Press Trust of India reported.
LCIA had also called for the appointment of independent experts to determine a fair value for CPRL, so that the US-based fast food chain could buy out Bakshi’s stake.
CPRL operates 169 restaurants across the country. The matter is listed for hearing on 26 September.
“MIPL (McDonald’s India Pvt. Ltd) has filed an application to the Delhi high court to progress the enforcement of the partial award rendered in its favour by the London Court of International Arbitration. At the same time, MIPL will continue with its appeal at NCLAT (National Company Law Appellate Tribunal) and also continue to take all other measures and steps to exercise our legal and contractual rights in related matters," said a McDonald’s India spokesperson, in an emailed reply to a query.
Bakshi declined to comment immediately.
McDonald’s India terminated its franchise pact with CPRL on 21 August for all 169 McDonald’s outlets in northern and eastern India, citing non-payment of royalties as primary reason. Bakshi, managing director of CPRL, was supposed to shut the restaurants by 6 September.
Until now, not only have all the McDonald’s outlets in question continued to operate, Bakshi, last week, also reopened 19 out of 43 outlets in Delhi that were shut in June due to the firm’s failure to renew licences.
McDonald’s move comes days after NCLAT, on 21 September, said it would study the award passed by the arbitration court to arrive at a decision in the ongoing case.
The tribunal is hearing two different appeals.
One was brought by McDonald’s India against the National Company Law Tribunal, or NCLT, order of 13 July, reinstating Bakshi as managing director of CPRL.
The other was filed by Bakshi, requesting a fair valuation of the fast-food chain’s outlets in northern and eastern India.
Separately, NCLT had also issued a show-cause notice to McDonald’s Corp. in a contempt application filed by Bakshi alleging that the termination of the franchise agreement was in conflict with a 13 July NCLT order, which asked the American fast-food chain to refrain from interfering in the smooth functioning of CRPL and all its 169 restaurants.
The matter is due for hearing on Tuesday.