Ashok Sharma, a former franchisee partner of Yum! India has filed a case of extortion, cheating, criminal intimidation and conspiracy against senior officials of Yum! India, including global CEO of Yum! Brands, Greg Creed and private equity firm Samara Capital Partners Fund II.
The former franchisee in an FIR filed in Uttam Nagar police station of West Delhi area mentioned that he was coerced to sell his business run by AN Traders Pvt Ltd (ANTPL) at a throwaway price to Samara Capital in 2015.
“The accused persons, in collusion with each other, committed extortion and cheating on me and other directors of ANTPL by inducing/forcing us to deliver the entire business, which was valued for more than Rs 208 crore, at a meager sum of Rs 95 crore,” Sharma claims in his FIR. Sharma’s ANTPL was granted franchisee for KFC in September 2005 and had outlets in Punjab, Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh.
A case has been registered under sections 384, 420, 506, 379 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code. However, Yum India has denied all the allegations citing it meaningless.
Yum! strongly condemns the baseless allegations made by ANTPL, a former franchise partner with whom we ended our relationship after it defaulted on payments to Yum!, vendors, real estate owners, employees, and towards its statutory liabilities,” a Yum! India spokesperson said in an email response to Forbes India.
Among the accused mentioned in FIR are Niren Chaudhary, former president of Yum India who now leads Krispy Kreme business in the US; Ankush Tuli, former CFO of Yum!; Gaurav Tewari, head department Yum India; Nagesh Shetty, former director franchisee Affairs Yum!; Rajesh Shetty, director supply chain Yum India; Sajan Thomas, former general manager of AN Traders Pvt Ltd; Sumeet Narang, founder of Samara Capital and director of Sapphire Foods India and Samara Capital Partners Fund II.
According to the sequence of events narrated by Sharma in the FIR, it all started way back in January 2013, when Niren Chaudhary allegedly asked for 20 percent share in the profit of ANTPL. The company had posted a profit of Rs 7 crore in 2013. “Niren Chaudhary told me that since the entire businesses of Yum in India is managed by its top executives based in India, the share demanded would be distributed among accused 1, 2, 3 and 6 (Niren Chaudhary, Ankush Tuli, Gaurav Tewari and Greg Creed),” Sharma alleges in his report. On being denied the share, Chaudhary allegedly threatened Sharma of ruining the business of ANTPL.
Though, call and messages sent to Sharma by the media remain unanswered.
Yum! Brands is successfully running KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell in India for more than two decades now and own over 45,000 restaurants in more than 135 countries. And, has two franchisees in the country; Ravi Jaipuria-owned Devyani International and Sapphire Foods India, which was formed by a consortium of funds led by Samara Capital. Samara bought part of Yum! Brands’ franchise business in India in 2016.