Death of the founder of Cafe Coffee Day, VG Siddartha, was confirmed on Wednesday morning by Mangaluru Police Commissioner Sandeep Patil. His body was found by local fishermen at the backwaters of river Netravati.
On Tuesday, after reports of his missing, a letter of him admitting his shortcomings as an entrepreneur to the company's board was released by ANI. Later that day, Coffee Day Enterprises confirmed the authenticity of the letter dated 27 July 2019 to the stock exchanges.
VG Siddartha's suicide and his letter to the board brought to light the existing concerns of growing debt of the company he founded 23 years ago. Earlier signs were seen the company announced its deal to sell its stake in Bengaluru-based Mindtree Ltd in Marc, which would bring in net cash of Rs 2,100 crore (after taxes and expenses) to help lighten its debt of Rs 3,750 crore (as reported at the end of the December 2018 quarter).
However, in a conference call in May, the company said that the debt was only lowered to Rs 2,400 crore, leaving shareholders confused. Seeing clear indications of further increase in debt in the March quarter, investors withdrew funds.
A report now claims that CCD had been looking to sell its major stake to curb the debt spiral.
An Economic Times report said that the founder and chairman of the Coffee Day Group-VG Siddhartha, allegedly wrote a letter before his death that indicated that the enterprise was in talks with Coca-Cola India and ITC for an "operational partnership." The report citing sources said that CCD had exclusive talks with Coca-Cola in the precious month to acquire a significant stake in the company. Following that, talks were held with ITC in the middle of July, it said.
Economic Times also said that ITC's spokesperson confirmed of such an enquiry but also said that no progress was made on the matter.
Coffee Day Enterprises likely to hold a board meeting on Wednesday to discuss its way forward, it said.
Shares of the company tanked for the second day in a row to a new low of Rs 122.75 percent on Wednesday.