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Founder Of Starbucks’ Biggest Indian Rival Goes Missing; Shares Tumble

Courtesy of ZeroHedge. View original post here.

In a missing person's case, everybody has their theories. But we have to admit, this certainly doesn't sound good.

Siddhartha asked his driver to stop his car near a bridge in the Southern Indian city of Mangaluru, before going for a walk, local police official Jayant Kumar said by phone. The driver informed police when Siddhartha didn’t return after an hour, Kumar said.

Shares of Coffee Day Enterprises, the owner of Indian coffee chain Coffee Day, slumped 20% after its founder and majority shareholder, V.G. Siddhartha, went missing on Monday in the Southern Indian city of Mangaluru, according to a filing with the exchange. The holding company owns several businesses, including Cafe Coffee Day, which operates nearly 1,700 cafes around India.

V.G. Siddhartha

Siddhartha hasn't been reachable since Monday evening, the company said.

"We are taking the help of concerned authorities. Company is professionally managed and led by competent leadership team, which will ensure continuity of business."

According to Bloomberg, Siddhartha founded the coffee chain and opened cafes around the country more than a decade before Starbucks started expanding into India. The roots of Siddhartha's company can be traced back to the IT hub of Bengaluru in 1996.

The company's leadership team has promised to "ensure continuity of business," Coffee Day said in a recent filing.

Coffee Day went public in 2015, nearly two decades after opening its first cafe in Bengaluru. A unit of KKR owns 6.07% of the company, while Nandan Nilekani, co-founder of Infosys Ltd., has a 2.69% stake.

"We are deeply saddened by the developments and our thoughts are with his family at this time," KKR spokesperson told Bloomberg via email.

The fund sold 4.25% of its about 10.3% stake last February and haven’t sold any shares before or since, the spokesman said.


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