Free Press Journal

McDonald’s-Bakshi row: Arbitrators bat for fair valuation of joint venture

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New Delhi : An international arbitration panel has directed appointment of experts to determine a fair value of the joint venture between McDonald’s India and Vikram Bakshi so that the US fast food chain can buy out its estranged partner. The partners had resorted to arbitration after McDonald’s in November 2013 issued a notice to terminate partnership with Bakshi for setting up and operating its popular fast food outlets in northern and eastern India.   A three-member arbitration tribunal on September 12 directed determination of a fair market value and purchase price of share of Vikram Bakshi and Bakshi Holding Pvt Ltd in Connaught Plaza Restaurants Ltd (CPRL) for transfer to joint venture partner McDonald’s India Pvt Lt (MIPL), persons familiar with the order said. The value so determined will be placed before the tribunal, which asked Bakshi to provide necessary cooperation and assistance in such determination, they said.

    McDonald’s appointed London-based judge Ian Hunter on the panel while Bakshi had appointed Justice Vikramajit Sen. Albert Jan Van Den Berg was the chairman of the tribunal. Sen did not sign the award, the persons said, adding that the 2:1 majority award asked Bakshi and the holding firm not to exercise any voting rights in the 1,45,600 shares held by them in CPRL. The international arbitration tribunal in London has also rejected Bakshi’s claim that McDonald’s India did not validly terminate the JV.  CPRL, a JV between Bakshi and MIPL, the Indian subsidiary of McDonald’s Corporation, operates 169 McDonald’s restaurants.