Bengaluru : VG Siddhartha, owner of the popular coffee chain Cafe Coffee Day, has gone missing near Mangaluru since Monday evening. He also happens to be the son-in-law of senior BJP leader SM Krishna.
In a letter reportedly written by Siddhartha to the board of directors and his CCD family before he went missing, he said that he had “failed to create the right profitable business model despite my best efforts”.
He added, ” I fought for a long time but today I gave up as I could not take any more pressure from one of the private equity partners forcing me to buy back shares, a transaction I had partially completed six months ago by borrowing a large sum of money from a friend. Tremendous pressure from other lenders lead to me succumbing to the situation.”
According to reports, Siddhartha got off from his car near a bridge across the Nethravathi River near Mangalore, about 375 km from Bengaluru, but did not return even after an hour. A panicked driver went down looking for him, but could not find him anywhere. He then alerted the family members who in turn informed the police.
Siddhartha has pointed out the harassment from the previous DG Income Tax in the letter. “There was a lot of harassment from the previous DG income tax in the form of attaching our shares on two separate occasions to block our Mindtree deal and then taking position of our Coffee day shares, although the revised returns have been filed by us. This was very unfair and has led to a serious liquidity crunch.”
The Karnataka Police have launched a massive search operation near the Netravati River, to find the missing businessman. The Mangalore Police Commissioner Sandeep Patil said: “Yesterday, he left from Bengaluru, saying he is going to Sakleshpur. But on the way, he told his driver to go to Mangalore.”
The Coffee Day Enterprises’ share is trading below 30, 50, 150 and 200 day moving average. The stock of Coffee Day has fallen over 41% in the last 6 months and over 22% in a week’ period on both the bourses.
Following the news, the company filed a regulatory statement informing, ” Mr V G Siddhartha, Chairman and Managing Director of Coffee Day Enterprises Limited has not been reachable since yesterday evening. We are taking the help of concerned authorities. Company is professionally managed and led by a competent leadership team, which will ensure continuity of business.”
Siddhartha first founded Cafe Coffee Day in mid 1990s on Brigade Road which has now become an international brand. He recently sold his stakes in a software company Mindtree for about Rs 3,000 crore. He was recently in the news for being in talks with Coca-Cola to sell CCD.
The letter purportedly written by Shri VG Siddhartha which is circulating is dated July 27th.
I received a call from him on the 28th asking if we could meet up.
It’s unbelievable that a courageous man like him would resort to this. pic.twitter.com/bXcJhHz0QS
— DK Shivakumar (@DKShivakumar) July 30, 2019