Murugappa Group heir for board seat in holding company

Valli Arunachalam

Valli Arunachalam  


Female heirs must be given equal opportunity, says Valli Arunachalam

A storm is brewing in the $5-billion Chennai-based Murugappa Group with Valli Arunachalam, the elder daughter of late M.V. Murugappan, locking horns with family patriarch, the 80-year-old M.V. Subbiah demanding that female heirs be given an equal opportunity in the family business on similar terms as male heirs.

Mr. Murugappan, who passed away in 2017, was survived by his wife and two daughters, Valli Arunachalam and Vellachi Murugappan.

Ms. Valli Arunachalam, karta of the MVM HUF, is seeking a board representation on Ambadi Investments Ltd. (AIL), the holding company of the 119-year Murugappa Group.

The MVM family is among the largest blocks of shareholders in AIL, the group’s public unlisted holding company. After Mr. Murugappan died, they have not had any board representation, whereas every other part of the family tree has due representation on the board, that exercises control on the business empire.

Asked for comments, Ms. Arunachalam told The Hindu, “My father, the patriarch of the Murugappa family, passed away in 2017. In keeping with his wishes, our family is seeking fair valuation of our assets. But for the last two years, we haven’t got any satisfactory response to our request.”

Fair asset valuation

As karta of MVM HUF, Ms. Arunachalam is seeking a fair valuation of their assets from the larger family.

“We own 8.15 % in AIL, yet we have no visibility in the business. So, in August 2019, we asked for representation on the board of Ambadi Investments Ltd. as our family is one of the largest shareholders. But to date, we haven’t got any meaningful response,” said Ms. Arunachalam.

After the demise of Mr. Murugappan, the former patriarch of the group, the branch was without a male heir for only the second time in the history of the family.

In the previous instance, one of Murugappan’s uncles, A.M.M. Murugappa Chettiar (the second generation), adopted a male child from another part of the family tree because he had only daughters, but Mr. Murugappan bequeathed his entire estate to his wife and two daughters.

A detailed query sent to Murugappa Group on Thursday remained unanswered till the time of going to press.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 9:29:45 AM |

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