McDonald’s case: NCLAT gives Vikram Bakshi, HUDCO ‘last chance’ to settle dispute

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on August 23, 2019

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on Thursday directed Vikram Bakshi and state-owned Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) to settle their dispute, stating that this is their last chance to do so. Bakshi is the former Indian joint venture partner of American burger chain McDonald’s.

HUDCO is seeking dues of about ₹195 crore from Bakshi in relation to a loan granted to his hospitality venture, Ascot Hotels & Resorts.

A two-member NCLAT Bench headed by Chairperson SJ Mukhopadhaya said: “By way of last chance, Vikram Bakshi is given the opportunity to settle the matter with HUDCO, failing which the appeals may be heard on merit. It is desirable that HUDCO also takes steps in their interest to settle the matter with Vikram Bakshi instead of prolonging the litigation before any forum.” The matter is next listed for hearing on September 18.

Following a bitter legal feud, Bakshi and McDonald’s had earlier this year reached an out-of-court settlement, under which the latter acquired the former’s 50 per cent stake in their joint venture, Connaught Plaza Restaurants Pvt Ltd (CPRL), which runs outlets in the North and the East.

Intervention petition

However, HUDCO filed an intervention petition opposing their out-of-court settlement, claiming that Bakshi and related entities owed it dues of about ₹195 crore. It also pointed to an order by the Debt Recovery Tribunal that prevents Bakshi from selling any shares in CPRL.

On May 15, the NCLAT admitted HUDCO’s plea and, on May 28, directed Bakshi to settle the dispute within four weeks. On July 10, it further directed him to file an affidavit within a week detailing the amount he had received from the sale of his shares in CPRL. Bakshi and McDonald’s are seeking to withdraw cases filed against each other before the NCLAT. HUDCO’s intervention has delayed this process.

Published on August 23, 2019

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