A McDonald’s Corp. restaurant, operated by Hardcastle Restaurants Pvt., on Brigade Road in Bangalore, India. (Photograph: Sanjit Das/Bloomberg)

McDonald’s, Vikram Bakshi Working On Out-Of-Court Settlement

Estranged partners McDonald's and Vikram Bakshi told the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal that they are working towards an out-of-court settlement to end their over five-year-old dispute.

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.

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 partnership agreement to open outlets of the U.S. fast food chain in India. It was for a period of 25 years.

The two partners had formed a 50:50 joint venture— Connaught Plaza Restaurant Ltd. — which was responsible outlets of 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.

Also read: CPRL To Pursue Legal Recourse Against Licence Scrapping, Says Vikram Bakshi

A long-winding legal tussle and battle for control of the business ensued afterwards with Bakshi keeping around 165 McDonald's branded outlets operational in the northern and the eastern regions of the country.

In the southern and western regions, McDonald's outlets are run by Amit Jatia-led Westlife Development Ltd.

In August 2017, McDonald's had told the NCLAT that settlement of dispute with its estranged partner Bakshi was not possible.

The major tussle started after Bakshi was ousted as the managing director of CPRL in 2013, following which he approached the National Company Law Tribunal, which reinstated him to his position. McDonald's has challenged the same in the appellate tribunal NCLAT.