Published: Thu, August 01, 2019
Global Media | By Garry Long

‘I Gave Up’: Indian Coffee Tycoon Disappears near River Prompting Massive Search

‘I Gave Up’: Indian Coffee Tycoon Disappears near River Prompting Massive Search

Siddhartha, who owns a direct stake of 32.75% in Coffee Day Enterprises, was also widely seen as a savvy investor who made some prescient early investments in Indian IT service firms such as Infosys and Mindtree in the 1990s, years before global firms began to bet on Indian start-ups.

Chain: A woman at a Cafe Coffee Day outlet in Bangalore today.

The body of missing Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) founder-owner VG Siddhartha was found on the banks of Netravati River near Hoige Bazaar in Mangaluru on Wednesday. Although, the signature mentioned in the letter differs from Siddhartha signature in the company's annual reports in 2018.

Reports said the driver told police Siddhartha was talking to someone on his mobile phone and got off from the vehicle.

"We have sent his body for post mortem analysis now and are awaiting results". A letter, purportedly written by Siddhartha, had blamed an unnamed private equity partner for pressuring him into a share buyback and tax authorities for "harassment" and decisions that hurt the company's liquidity.

The founder of the Cafe Coffee Day chain, VG Siddhartha, has gone missing mysteriously.

Siddhartha owns about 12,000 hectares (30,000 acres) of plantations and his Amalgamated Bean Coffee Trading Company is India's largest exporter of green coffee.

Reports of 60-year-old Siddhartha, the son-in-law of Karnataka chief minister S.M. Krishna, going missing surfaced on Tuesday, with an initial assessment of the situation pointing towards a possible suicide attempt.

According to the National Restaurant Association of India, there are 10 times more Coffee Day outlets in India than its United States rival, Starbucks, reported Bloomberg.

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Sources in the company said that the executive company will look to deleverage assets of SICAL Logistics, an integrated logistics solutions provider, of which Siddhartha was a promoter as well.

Mangalore commissioner of police Sandeep Patil told PTI that Siddhartha's family has been informed and the body has been kept at Wenlock Hospital for further formalities.

Indian tax authorities raided Siddhartha's home, offices, and various business premises in September 2017.

He ordered the driver to stop the vehicle and started walking along a bridge as he talked to someone on his phone before disappearing.

Karnataka Congress MLA UT Khader, who reached the spot, told local news channels that the police were looking into "all angles".

The driver was ordered to stop on a bridge near Mangalaru and he got out whilst talking on the telephone.

Shares in Coffee Day Enterprises plunged 20 percent to a record low on the Bombay Stock Exchange following the news of its founder's unexplaineddisappearance.

The firm vowed it would "ensure continuity of business".

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