Coffee Day stock dives 20% after founder goes missing

NEW DELHI: Shares of tanked as much as 20 per cent after its chairman and managing director went missing. The stock has touched a 52-week low of Rs 154.05.

VG Siddhartha, founder of the country‘s largest coffee chain Cafe Coffee Day (CCD), has been missing since Monday night. Siddhartha is the son-in-law of former Karnataka chief minister SM Krishna. He is married to Krishna’s eldest daughter and has two children.

The company, in a notification to exchanges, said: “This is to inform you that, Mr. V G Siddhartha, Chairman and Managing Director of Coffee Day Enterprises Limited has not reachable since yesterday evening. We are taking the help of concerned authorities. Company is professionally managed and led by competent leadership team, which will ensure continuity of business. We will keep you posted as and when we receive further updates.”

Siddhartha, the founder of the Cafe Coffee Day group, is the son-in-law of former Karnataka chief minister SM Krishna. Police officials have launched a massive search operation for him.

He was headed for Sakaleshpur but on the way he had asked his driver to go towards Mangaluru, according to the police. On reaching a bridge over the Netravati river in the Kotepura area in Dakshina Kannada district, he got down from the car and told his driver that he was going for a walk.

“He (Siddhartha) asked the driver to wait till his arrival. When he did not return even after two hours, the driver approached the police and lodged a missing complaint,” deputy commissioner of Dakshina Kannada district Senthil Sasikant Senthil told news agency PTI.

Cafe Coffee Day founder VG Siddhartha, who went missing on Monday night from Mangaluru, had written a letter to the board of the retail chain outlet and its staff.

Coffee Day Enterprises — in which Siddhartha holds 32.75 per cent stake, according to data compiled by Bloomberg — is a holding company for several businesses, the most prominent of which is Cafe Coffee Day. It has more than 1,500 cafes across the country.

Coffee Day went public in 2015, almost two decades after opening its first cafe in Bengaluru. It is now present in more than 200 cities. The company, founded in 1993, opened its first international cafe in Vienna in 2005, according to its website.

Siddhartha, in March, had sold about 20 per cent of his stake in tech company Mindtree Ltd to engineering and construction company Larsen & Toubro (L&T).

(With agency inputs)
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