The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) Thursday gave an ultimatum to erstwhile joint-venture partner of fast food restaurant chain McDonald’s Vikram Bakshi to settle his Rs 195-crore dues with HUDCO in four weeks.
A two-member bench headed by Justice SJ Mukhopadhaya said if both parties are unable to break the deadlock, the appellate tribunal will direct the settlement amount to be paid by Bakshi.
While Bakshi has paid around Rs 72 crore out of his total dues, HUDCO counsel Rohit Sharma said the state-owned entity is seeking Rs 141 crore more from the former McDonald’s promoter.
“Every time you (Bakshi) say ‘I am offering a particular amount’, but there is no settlement. We are giving you the last chance to settle the dispute failing which we will direct the settlement,” NCLAT said.
The next hearing at NCLAT is scheduled for September 18.
Bakshi, who was running a 50:50 JV — Connaught Plaza Restaurants (CPRL) — with McDonald’s India since 1995, said he made a total offer of Rs 148 crore, which has been rejected by Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO).
The JV managed around 169 McDonald’s outlets in north and east India.
The NCLAT, on May 28, had given Bakshi the final opportunity to settle HUDCO’s claims in relation to a loan granted to an entity controlled by him.
The unpaid dues have delayed the NCLAT nod for out-of-court settlement to the six-year-old dispute between CPRL and McDonald’s. Both parties had on May 7 informed NCLAT that they were working for a resolution. The tribunal had then allowed them to go ahead with settlement talks.
According to the terms of the settlement, McDonald’s India has bought over the 50 per cent of the stake held by Bakshi and his wife in CPRL for an undisclosed amount. —FE