McDonald's selects Sanjeev Agrawal as a new partner for northern and eastern India

NEW DELHI: US fast food chain UU. McDonald's He has elected the president of the MMG Group, Sanjeev Agrawal, as his new partner to operate outlets in northern and eastern India, the company said.

The development comes almost nine months after McDonald's bought estranged partner Vikram Bakshi's 50 per cent stake in Connaught Plaza Restaurants Ltd (CPRL), which has the license to run its restaurants in north and east India.

A McDonald's spokesperson said Agarwal is the new partner of the company for the two markets.

Agrawal has a strong understanding and passion for the McDonald's brand, insights into the local market, and a proven track record of driving quality and innovation in the food and beverage and hospitality industries, McDonald's Asia Director Corporate Relations Barry Sum said.

Agrawal (55) is the president of the MMG Group, which has interests in bottling and marketing of soft drinks, oil and gas, hotels, among others.

MMG Group also controls Moon Beverages, which is among the key bottlers for American beverage maker Coca-Cola in northern India since 1994 and manufactures and distributes Coca Cola, Limca, Sprit, Maaza, Thums UP, Fanta, Minute Maid , Coke Zero and Kinley

Sum added that Agrawal is the right strategic partner for McDonald's to grow its brand presence in north and east India.

McDonald's, however, has not share the terms and condition of the agreement and also about the nature of the partnership.

Agrawal's comments on the development could not be obtained until the moment of the presentation of the story.

The company also refrained to comment on the ongoing matter between McDonald's and its former JV partner Vikram Bakshi before the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), where state-run HUDCO has opposed sale/transfer of share by Bakshi to the fast food chain after settlement.

McDonald's remains a shareholder of CPRL, and continues to hold the shares that were acquired from Vikram Bakshi and his holding company in CPRL, said Sum, adding that Robert Hunghanfoo continues to head CPRL.

In May last year, McDonald's had announced an out-of-court settlement agreeing to buy Bakshi's stake in their joint venture.

The details of the agreement, including the financial terms, were not disclosed.

They have approached the Court of Appeals of National Societies Law (NCLAT) to withdraw the lawsuits, filed against each other, however, the Urban Development and Housing Corporation (HUDCO) opposed.

HUDCO, which claims quotas of Rs 194.98 million rupees from Bakshi and its related entities, in its statement of intervention filed with the NCLAT, reported that notices regarding the orders of the debt recovery court (DRT) had already been delivered to both partners.

Bakshi had guaranteed HUDCO against a loan of Rs 62.38 million rupees to Ascot Hotels and Resorts for a commercial project in Noida, UP in 2006, which defaulted the payments and was declared NPA in August 2011. To recover it, HUDCO then He moved DRT in 2013 and requested to attach 3,100 shares (with a value of Rs 1,000 each) in CPRL, which were in the name of Bakshi.

HUDCO had argued that said agreement is against the provisional order approved by the DRT in a pending case against Vikram Bakshi.

Bakshi is the president of Ascot Hotels&Resorts Ltd.

In September 2019, the NCLAT had said it would review the settlement between fast food major McDonald's and its Indian partner Vikram Bakshi over the sale of his shares in Connaught Plaza Restaurants Ltd (CPRL).

The NCLAT had said the settlement reached between McDonald's and Bakshi was prima facie in violation of a DRT order.

In a recent development, the Delhi High Court suspended the orders of HUDCO on January 24, until its next hearing date, which is April 29, 2020.

Ascot Hotels has deposited a sum of Rs 60 crore. On January 23, 2020, he had informed the superior court that the company had deposited Rs 3.64 million rupees previously on July 30, 2019 and was given a rest check Rs 56.36 million rupees.