Valli Arunachalam sends legal notice to Murugappa family for rejecting her board seat

Legal notices have been sent to the Murugappa family members, Ambadi Investments Ltd, its management, and other people in relation.
Valli Arunchalam
Valli Arunchalam

Valli Arunachalam and her family have issued legal notices to the members of the Murugappa family, which comes just days after Murugappa Group’s holding firm Ambadi Investments rejected appointing her to the board. Valli has said that she and her family have issued legal notices to the family members of the Murugappa group, Ambadi Investments Ltd management, the company and other people in relation.

The daughter of the group’s former executive chairman MV Murugappan, Valli was rejected from being appointed as a director after 91% of the Board voted against her appointment. Murugappa group traditionally only appoints male members of the family on its board of directors.

“On behalf of my mother, sister and me, I can hereby confirm that following careful and thorough deliberation and in consultation with our independent advisors, we have decided to seek legal remedies with respect to our ongoing efforts to settle my father’s will,” Valli said in a statement on Thursday.

She said that they have reached the end of the road for an amicable settlement.

“It was a big step for us and a very unfortunate one, as we have worked tirelessly over the course of the last three years to bring about an amicable settlement of my father’s interests in AIL. With the family voting unanimously to reject my appointment to the AIL board, we have seemingly reached the end of the road for an amicable settlement.,” she added.

MV Murugappan left his 8.15% stake in the company to his daughters and wife, he passed away in 2017. Since then, Valli has been fighting to change the company’s long-standing tradition of having only men in the leadership. 

Valli said that it would be impossible to enumerate each step she and her family has taken over the last three years, “but we can assure you that we, together with our advisors, have taken the “leave no stone unturned” approach in an effort to bring about an amicable settlement. Such efforts include, inter alia, a proposal for the engagement of an independent mediator,” she wrote.

Valli alleges that every request of hers has been met with a combination of ‘silence, combativeness, false assurances, and delay tactics’ and given such treatment, her family has no confidence that their substantial stake in the family business will be safeguarded by Murugappa family.

“Perhaps most confounding to us is that the Murugappa family has attempted to project their stand as principled and righteous. What is clear to us after three years is that the family’s tactics are nothing more than a robe to conceal their socially regressive gender bias,” she added.

She said that with only family heirs, the family business was asking Valli, her sister and her mother to assume a second class standing in AIL without any of the rights or privileges enjoyed by other families.

“A considerable portion of my late father’s estate is tied to AIL, and it is entirely unreasonable to expect my family to relinquish control and visibility over these holdings to the broader Murugappa family. To date, no logical or legally valid explanation has been provided by the Murugappa family as to why my family should be subordinated in this manner,” she added.

She also added that she was hurt that no one came forward to support them despite her father dedicating his life for the company. 

She said that they recognise that these efforts have broader implications, especially with respect to gender equality. This, she said, “is crucial for India to realize its full economic potential and social parity.”

“We have complete faith in the judiciary and are emboldened by some of the recent decisions. We are confident that justice will prevail,” Valli said.

Related Stories

No stories found.
The News Minute