Ambadi rebuffs Valli Arunachalam’s board bid

Majority of shareholders of Ambadi Investments (AIL), the holding company of the ₹38,000 crore Murugappa Group, have voted against the induction of Valli Arunachalam, the eldest daughter of former executive chairman M V Murugappan, to the board.

While 91.36% of the shareholders voted against the resolution, 8.64% voted for the proposal, at the AGM held on September 21.

Dr. Arunachalam, 59, has been battling for the right to be recognised as her father’s successor on the board for a long time after her father’s demise in 2017. Along with her mother and sister, she holds an 8.15% stake in AIL.

She had sent a notice in August 2020 proposing her candidature for directorship. “I am shocked at the manner in which the family, which is the majority shareholder, in this case, has conducted itself. Our family branch has been asking the majority shareholders in AIL to settle our shareholding in a fair manner,” Dr. Arunachalam, karta of M V Murugappan HUF (Hindu undivided family) said.

“We made multiple attempts to ask the family to settle us per my father’s wishes by purchasing our stake in AIL at fair value. We have proposed many ways in which they can settle the matter amicably, including mediation, and they have refused,” Dr. Arunachalam said.

“It is evident that the family cannot tolerate women in their boardrooms, and they have showcased their considered view in this regard.We will would definitely pursue justice and take all the steps needed for the same,” she added.

Murugappa Group declined to comment, saying the issue was related to the family.

”It was always our wish that the family issues remain within and are settled at the family level, but clearly it seems the family is more concerned about protecting its draconian perspectives and practices, even if it means forcing us to take the battle to courts. We will not shy away this time,” Dr. Arunachalam said.

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