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Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019

CCD founder VG Siddhartha missing, told driver he’d walk near Mangaluru bridge

VG Siddhartha’s driver told the police that they were entering the city when he told him to take the car to the bridge.

india Updated: Jul 31, 2019 16:00 IST
Vikram Gopal
Vikram Gopal
Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
VG Siddhartha, chairman of Coffee Day Enterprises that runs Cafe Coffee Day outlets. Photo by Priyanka Parashar/Mint
VG Siddhartha, chairman of Coffee Day Enterprises that runs Cafe Coffee Day outlets. Photo by Priyanka Parashar/Mint(Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint)
         

VG Siddhartha, the founder of Café Coffee Day chain, has gone missing on the outskirts of Mangaluru, 350 km from Karnataka capital Bengaluru, on Monday. Siddhartha’s driver told the police that they were entering the city when he told him to take the car to the bridge.

Siddhartha is also the son-in-law of former foreign minister SM Krishna who had joined the BJP a few days ago. Police said Siddhartha asked his driver to stop his car, before setting out on foot. The driver informed the family when Siddhartha didn’t return after an hour.

“He asked me to be at the end of the bridge and said he’d walk,” Siddhartha’s driver Basavaraj Patil has told the police. Siddhartha was reported missing from Jappinamogaru, which is very close to Netravathi river and just two to three kilometres from the sea.

Watch: When CCD Founder V.G. Siddhartha described his ambitions

 

Mangaluru police commissioner Sandeep Patil told reporters that the driver alerted the family when there was no sight of Siddhartha after an hour. The police have deployed divers and inflatable boats to look for him in Ullal area of Mangaluru.

As his disappearance was reported, shares of his company Coffee Day Enterprises slumped as much as 20%. In a stock exchange filing, the company said its leadership team will “ensure continuity of business”.

A letter that VG Siddhartha had written to his company’s board of directors on Saturday also emerged. In this, Siddhartha detailed the troubles that he had faced in recent months including some from lenders, equity partners and the income tax department.

“I would like to say I gave it my all. I am very sorry to let down all the people that put their trust in me. I fought for a long time but today I gave up as I could not take any more pressure from one of the equity partners forcing me to buy back shares, a transaction that I had partially completing six months ago by borrowing a large sum of money from a friend, the business baron wrote.

“My intention was never to cheat or mislead anybody, I have failed as an entrepreneur. This is my sincere submission. I hope someday you will understand, forgive and pardon me,” the letter said.

Siddhartha’s letter also referred to what he described as harassment by a senior tax department official.

Also read | Café Coffee Day founder goes missing: Here’s his full letter

First Published: Jul 30, 2019 11:34 IST

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