CPRL board to meet today, fate of 169 McDonald's outlets uncertain

The board of Connaught Plaza Restaurant, the 50:50 joint venture between McDonald's India and its estranged partner Vikram Bakshi, will meet on Wednesday amid uncertainty over the fate of 169 outlets of the fast food chain run by it.

McDonald's India, which had cancelled license agreement with CPRL last month, said the termination notice period ends today after which the franchisee is not "authorised to use the McDonald's system and its intellectual property".

On the other hand, Bakshi reiterated that the CPRL board will decide on the future course of action in its meeting tomorrow to be presided by NCLT-appointed administrator Justice G S Singhvi.

"We are having our board meeting tomorrow under the Chairmanship of the administrator in which the two nominee directors of McDonald's Corporation would also participate," Bakshi told PTI on Tuesday.

In the previous two board meetings last month, McDonald's representatives had stayed away.

When contacted McDonald's India spokesperson said: "The termination notice period ends today (September 5). Therefore, CPRL is no longer authorised to use the McDonald's system and its intellectual property".

They will have to stop using the McDonald's names, trademarks, designs, branding, operational and marketing practise and policies, and food recipes and specifications, he said.

"We are proceeding with exercising our legal and contractual rights," he added.

McDonald's India had cancelled license agreement with CPRL last month for 169 outlets in North and East India and asked to stop using the McDonald's trademarks, branding, food recipes and specifications, among others from September 6.

Already 43 outlets of McDonald's in the Capital have been closed since June following expiry of eating house license.

Meanwhile, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) issued show cause notice to fast food major McDonald's Corporation and its Indian arm over the contempt plea filed by Bakshi.

Besides, the tribunal dismissed another plea by Bakshi challenging termination of the franchise license of 169 outlets by McDonald's run by CPRL.

Bakshi has been at loggerheads with the fast food chain over the management of CPRL after he was ousted from the post of MD of the McDonald's franchisee in August 2013.

McDonald's India had asked CPRL not to use its brand system, trademark, designs and its associated intellectual property, among others, within 15 days of the termination notice which gets over on September 5.

Bakshi had moved the NCLT following termination of license by McDonald's India Pvt Ltd (MIPL).

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