Missing Cafe Coffee Day Owner Found Dead, Fishermen Spotted Body By River

Missing Cafe Coffee Day Owner Found Dead, Fishermen Spotted Body By River

The CCD owner’s family and friends have identified the body, said Congress MLA from Mangaluru, UT Khader. CCD board names Ranganath interim chairman, Bagamane interim COO

The body of Café Coffee Day (CCD) founder VG Siddhartha, missing since July 29 evening, was found early morning on July 31, ending speculation about his fate.

“We found the body early morning today. It needs to be identified, we have already informed the family members. We are shifting the body to Wenlock Hospital. We will continue further investigation,” Mangaluru Police Commissioner Sandeep Patil told ANI.

The missing businessman’s body was found near the Netravati river in Mangaluru and recovered at around 6.30 am, according to News18.

“I saw a body floating while I was fishing, informed the police. I participated in the rescue operations with the district administration yesterday as well,” said Rithesh, the fisherman who spotted the body, as quoted by ANI.

The CCD owner’s family and friends have identified the body, said Congress MLA from Mangaluru, UT Khader, as quoted by News18.

Siddhartha’s body will likely be taken to his village Cheekanahalli near Chikkamagaluru, where his parents live.

The family has decided that the cremation will take place at Siddhartha’s father’s estate in Belur Taluk, Sringeri MLA T D Rajegowda told ANI.

Siddhartha was last seen at 6 pm on July 29 when he got off his car. The driver had contacted the family when Siddhartha didn’t return for an over an hour.

The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Coast Guard were involved in the search operation for the missing businessman. Local fishermen had also assisted in the search.

“We have recorded the statement of fisherman Symond D’Souza that he saw a man jumping off the bridge into the river when he was fishing nearby,” Mangaluru Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Kodandaram told News18.

Siddhartha was the son-in-law of former Karnataka Chief Minister SM Krishna. He was married to SM Krishna’s daughter Malavika.

For live updates: CCD founder dead, body found near Mangaluru

Siddhartha had written a letter to the board and employees of Coffee Day Enterprises, saying he had “failed as an entrepreneur,”.

“I fought for a long time but today I gave up,” Siddhartha said in the letter dated July 27.

Siddhartha cited pressure from private equity partners for a buyback, a transaction he had partially completed after borrowing money from a friend.

The Income Tax Department has said the signature on the letter does not match the signature on the annual report.

In the letter, Siddhartha had also mentioned harassment from a previous DG income tax.

“He was a little upset regarding the Income Tax torture, wanted to sell 2-3 properties to settle all the debts because he was having more assets than liabilities,” Sringeri MLA T D Rajegowda told ANI.

Congress leader DK Shivakumar called the letter “utterly fishy” and called for an investigation. He added that Siddhartha had called him on July 28 asking if they could meet.Absconding businessman Vijay Mallya also reacted to the letter, saying he was “devastated” by the contents.

Shobha Karandlaje and PC Mohan, BJP MPs from Karnataka, tweeted their condolences.

Former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah also gave his condolences.

Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi also reacted to Siddhartha’s death, calling him “the man who formally made conversations over coffee a real deal among the aspirational class.”

Biocon chief Kiran Mazumdar Shaw also tweeted her condolences.

Anand Mahindra had also reacted to the incident on July 30.

“I did not know him & have no knowledge of his financial circumstances. I only know that entrepreneurs must not allow business failure to destroy their self-esteem. That will bring about the death of entrepreneurship.” The Chairman of Mahindra Group said a tweet.

Coffee Day Enterprises’ stock has hit its 20 percent lower circuit for the second day in a row on news of founder VG Siddhartha’s death.

At 09.16 am Coffee Day Enterprises was quoting at Rs 123.25, down Rs 30.80, or 19.99 percent. It has touched a 52-week low of Rs 123.25.

ICRA has placed Coffee Day Enterprises on rating watch with negative implications following the news of the death.

The board has appointed SV Ranganath as interim Chairman and Nitin Bagmane as interim COO.

“While the authenticity of the letter is unverified and it is unclear whether these statements pertain to the Company or the personal holdings of Mr. VG Siddhartha, the Board took serious note of the same and resolved to thoroughly investigate this matter,” the board said in a statement.

VG Siddhartha recently sold 20.3 percent stake in Mindtree to L&T. He was in talks with Coca-Cola for a stake sale.

As of March 2019, Cafe Coffee Day has 1,752 outlets across India. Coffee Day Enterprises clocked revenue of Rs 1,777 crore and Rs 1,814 crore In FY18 and 19 respectively. The company is eyeing revenue of Rs 2,250 crore by March 2020.

The first Cafe Coffee Day in 1996 at Brigade Road, Bengaluru.Siddhartha also established a hospitality chain which operates the Serai and Cicada resorts.