KKR says still owns over 6% in Cafe Coffee Day

MUMBAI: Global buyout major KKR has said it is “deeply saddened” by the disappearance of , the promoter of its investee company the coffee chain Cafe since Monday evening.

In a purported letter sent to the company board and the employees of the coffee chain he founded, Siddharth had on July 27 said he was under pressure from one of the private equity partners to buy back shares.

I-T dept has acted as per law in its probe against Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) promoter VG Siddhartha, official sources said, after a letter purportedly written by him accused tax authorities of harassment. Siddhartha fetched Rs 3,200 crore from the sale of Mindtree shares, but paid only Rs 46 crore out of total Rs 300 crore minimum alternate tax (MAT) payable on the deal

KKR in a statement on Tuesday said it had invested in the popular coffee chain nine years ago and part-exited the investment last year.

The fund statement added that it continues to hold about 6 per cent in the company now down from 10.3 per cent earlier.

“We are deeply saddened by the developments and our thoughts are with his family at this time. We believe in VG Siddhartha and had invested in the company about nine years ago,” KKR said in a statement.

It can be noted that generally, private equity funds have a shorter investment horizon of say one to seven years wherein they help an invested company grow and exit.

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 57-year-old Siddhartha, the son-in-law of former Union minister SM Krishna, has also blamed pressure from lenders and the tax department in the letter and has even named a director-level income tax officer in his apparent suicide note.

Meanwhile, mortgage major HDFC denied it has any exposure to any of the companies associated with Siddhartha. “HDFC had disbursed lease rental discounting loans to Tanglin Developments (CCD) for its project Global Village Tech Park in Bangalore. The entire loan was repaid in January 2019 and has no exposure to the Coffee Day Enterprises group as on date,” an HDFC spokesperson said.
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