Cafe chain Coffee Day Enterprises on Tuesday confirmed that it’s Chairman and Managing Director VG Siddhartha has been missing since Monday evening and that the company is taking the help of concerned authorities to trace him.
“The company is professionally managed and led by competent leadership team, which will ensure continuity of business,” Coffee Day Enterprises said in a regulatory filing.
Meanwhile, in a letter Siddhartha allegedly wrote to the Coffee Day Enterprises board, he says:
“I am very very sorry to let down all the people who had put their trust in me. I have failed as an entrepreneur. 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 completed six months ago by borrowing a large sum of money from a friend. Tremendous pressure from other lenders led to me succumbing to the situation.”
He further says that he “failed to create the right profitable business model despite my best efforts.”
Shares of Coffee Day Enterprises tanked 20 percent and hit the lower circuit limit as well as 52-week low of Rs 154.05 a piece on BSE after news surfaced that its founder has gone missing.
Siddhartha, the son-in-law of former Karnataka chief minister SM Krishna, 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 PTI.
More than 200 policemen and divers on about 25 boats were carrying out searches for him.
The deputy commissioner said that sniffer dogs have also been pressed into service.
“The help of local fishermen is being taken in the search. We are checking who all he spoke to over phone,” Mangaluru Police Commissioner Sandeep Patil said in a message.
Karnataka Congress MLA UT Khader, who reached the spot, told local news channels that the police were looking into “all angles”. “The search is on,” he said. In Bengaluru, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa visited SM Krishna’s residence and held discussion with the family members.
Senior Congress leader DK Shivakumar also visited Krishna’s residence.