The millionaire behind India Starbucks has passed, triggering a search, suspicions of suicide and a 20% plunge within the shares of his business, Coffee Day Enterprises Ltd.
V.G. Siddhartha is chairman and managing director of the corporate behind India’s biggest coffee chain, Café Coffee Day, which has more than 1,700 retailers in contrast with the 150 shops Starbucks has in India. He was finally seen Monday night on a bridge within the metropolis of Mangalore, mentioned Hanumantharaya, deputy commissioner of police in the southern city who goes by one identity.
The company confirmed Mr. Siddhartha had disappeared and mentioned it held an emergency board meeting Tuesday to make sure its companies proceed to run efficiently.
The company additionally released a copy of a letter it stated was purportedly from Mr. Siddhartha, addressed to the board and staff, with what seems like Mr. Siddhartha’s letterhead and signature.
The letter—which was quoted widely by native information websites and channels and shared on social media—apologizes and takes duty for the corporate’s profitability and debt points. It additionally complains about pressures from the corporate’s investors and tax authorities.
Alok Kumar, the commissioner of police in Bangalore, the place the corporate relies upon, stated investigating authorities don’t have any suicide be aware however have been looking the river, as tracker dogs had misplaced Mr. Siddhartha’s scent in the course of the bridge.
The corporate’s shares fell the utmost allowed 20% on Mumbai’s BSE Ltd. inventory trade on Tuesday.
Café Coffee Day turned one among India’s finest-identified native manufacturers due to its speedy rollout of coffee outlets throughout the nation. Like Starbucks, it hasn’t shied away from opening its shops close to one another. However, as an alternative to concentrating on India’s prosperous, Café Coffee Day is aimed at the extra cost-conscious middle class. It sells a regular cappuccino, for instance, for about $1.50, in contrast with near $3.00 at Starbucks.
While Café Coffee Day is India’s largest coffee chain, it accounts for lower than half of Coffee Day Enterprises’ revenues. The corporate’s different companies embody logistics, monetary companies, and actual property. Coffee Day Enterprises has greater than 40 subsidiaries.
Growing all its companies have left the corporate with a significant debt load that it has been working to scale back. It has lately been elevating cash through asset sales. With its quarterly earnings introduced in Could, it stated it had concluded the purchase of a stake in info expertise providers company Mindtree Ltd. which, after taxes and expenses, left it about $300 million to offset the debt.