Murugappa family ends disputes with ex-chairman's daughter Valli Arunachalam
The Murugappa family on Sunday said it had settled the disputes between Valli Arunachalam, the eldest daughter of MV Murugappam and rest of the family members. The discussions of family arrangement between the two factions took place in the presence of respective advisors, following which a memorandum was signed between the two daughters of late patriarch and remaining members of the family. According to the statement, the necessary transactions to implement the agreed arrangement will take place in the next 90 days. Valli Arunachalam, the New York-settled nuclear scientist had been fighting a lone battle for a seat in the board of Ambadi Investments, the holding company of Murugappa Group.
She had accused her uncles and cousin brothers of denying her a seat in the board because of her gender. “The family arrangement ensures that all the issues between the members will be settled, and they are happy that they have agreed to resolve this amicably. The terms of the family arrangement itself are confidential”, the statement read.Both the warring factions had also agreed to withdraw legal proceedings against each other after all the agreed steps in the family setlement have been completed.
No listed company forming part of the Murugappa Group is a party to the family arrangement, and nothing in the family arrangement relates to the management or control of, or grants any special rights to the pares in, any such companies, the statement read.
Arunachalam's father MV Murugappan served as the executive chairman of the family business for over two decades until he passed away in 2017. Valli had been engaged in a legal battle with her uncles and cousins for what according to her is a rightful place within the business conglomerate.
The Chennai-based Murugappa Group started in 1900 and now operates 29 businesses, including ten listed companies.
The companies include Carborundum Universal, CG Power and Industrial Solutions, Cholamandalam Financial Holdings, Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company, Coromandel International, Coromandel Engineering Company, E.I.D. Parry, Parry Agro Industries, Shanthi Gears Ltd., and Tube Investments of India.
Valli said when her father was alive, she and her family had visibility into the functionings of the business and how the decisions were taken. She and her sister Vellachi are the only siblings and her father was the only elder who had no sons.
MV Murugappan had expressed to the rest of the management and promoters at the group, was that he wanted his stake to be acquired at fair market value with the proceeds going to his heirs, Mint report said.
Makarand Joshi, founder, MMJC and Associates, a corporate compliance firm, said,"Though the disclosure does not mention any specific change or change in rights or restrictions etc, the development is welcome from an investor perspective that disputes between family members are settled and will definitely give a feeling of stability".
“It is also not clear whether the issues have been resolved based on a will drafted earlier or is it based on mutually compromise. A seamless family settlement augurs well than a legal option of going to the court, considering that the latter is a long drawn, dull and expensive process without any assurance of a pleasant outcome”, Joshi added.