New Delhi: The five-year dispute between US fast food chain McDonald’s and local partner Vikram Bakshi over franchise rights on the outlets is likely to be resolved soon, as both the parties on Monday agreed to an out-of-court settlement before the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) to end their dispute.
The two partners had formed the 50:50 joint venture, Connaught Plaza Restaurant Ltd (CPRL), which had the mandate to run the fast-food chain in the country’s northern and eastern regions through the franchise route. In 2017, McDonald’s terminated CPRL’s franchise agreement, citing non-payment of royalties.
On Monday, both the counsels for McDonald’s India Pvt Ltd and Vikram Bakshi told a two-member NCLAT bench, headed by Chairperson SJ Mukhopadhyay, that they are trying to work out a settlement soon.
The bench directed that either of the parties may file an affidavit, including the terms of the settlement being arrived at, on the next date of hearing on May 13. McDonald’s and Bakshi had in 1995 signed a 25-year partnership agreement to open outlets of the US fast food chain in India.
After the termination of franchise, a long-winding legal tussle for control of the business ensued, with Bakshi keeping around 165 McDonald’s branded outlets operational in the northern and the eastern regions.
McDonald’s outlets in the southern and western regions are mostly run by Westlife Development, led by Amit Jatia.
In August 2017, McDonald’s had submitted to the NCLAT that a settlement of dispute with its estranged partner Bakshi was not possible. The major tussle started after Bakshi was ousted as MD of CPRL in 2013....