AIL may appoint Valli Arunachalam on board

Mumbai | Updated on September 11, 2020 Published on September 11, 2020

In a sign that the family feud in the ₹40,000-crore Chennai-based Murugappa Group is thawing, Ambadi Investments Ltd (AIL) has proposed to appoint Valli Arunachalam on its board. AIL, the holding company of Murugappa Group, will take the call at its annual general meeting convened on September 21.

Arunachalam, the elder daughter of former executive chairman MV Murugappan, has been demanding that female heirs of the family be given an equal opportunity in family business on the same terms as the male heirs. She had earlier sought a board seat on AIL, or wanted family members to buy her stake.

“As a shareholder, my family has received the notice for the proposed AGM. For that, the agenda contains various items, and it also includes my proposed appointment to the board of the company,” Arunachalam said in an email reply to BusinessLine.

“Given the family controls majority shareholding in the company, I would like to believe that it is a foregone conclusion that I will be appointed as a director at the AGM,” she added.

Together, Valli Arunachalam, her sister Vellachi Murugappan and their mother MV Valli Murugappan, hold 8.15 per cent stake in AIL, which entitles them at least one board seat, she had told BusinessLine in January.

Her attempts to sell the 8.15 per cent stake to other family members at a ‘fair value’ also did not elicit a positive response, he had added then.

About 91 per cent stake in AIL including Valli Arunachalam, a public unlisted company, is held by the family, and the remaining by public.

MV Murugappan, a former chairman of Carborundum Universal, passed away on September 19, 2017. He had held board positions in AIL and Arunachalam has been seeking a board seat since August 13, 2019.

“Our point has been simple; given our family has limited involvement in the businesses of the operating companies after my father passed away, we should be settled and the family can absorb our Ambadi stake. This is also consistent with my father’s wishes. Also, my father, during his lifetime, represented our branch of the family on the AIL board seat, and it would have been in the interest of fairness that we had a board from when he passed away, as we are a significant shareholder and promoter,” she added in her letter on Friday.

ALSO READ: Murugappa scion Valli Arunachalam still waiting for ‘concrete offer’ from family

ALSO READ: Woman heir seeks board seat in Murugappa holding company

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Published on September 11, 2020
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