VG Siddhartha missing as CCD battles financial woes

VG Siddhartha missing as CCD battles financial woes

VG Siddhartha went missing last evening (DH File Photo)

Cafe Coffee Day founder V G Siddhartha who is missing since Monday evening had been battling a deep financial crisis.

Founded in 1996, the company’s cafe network stands at 1,751 stores spread across 243 cities in India. The company, Coffee Day Enterprises, in which Siddhartha owns a 53% stake, had a revenue of Rs 4,466.79 crore in FY19 against a net profit of Rs 127.51 crore.

However, growing debt might have been causing problems over the years, sources say. Several people close to him suggest that his sale of shares in IT company MindTree was part of his debt offloading process. “This amount was pledged with banks. It helped him reduce his exposure,” a person close to him said. His term borrowing had come down to Rs 2,657.75 crore in March 2019 from Rs 3,192.56 crore a year ago.

Siddhartha had earned Rs 3,269 crore by selling his 20.3% stake in MindTree to L&T. “There is no way he could have sold his shares in IT companies. It was very close to him,” sources said. 

In fact, Siddhartha’s balance sheet reveals that his short-term borrowings at Coffee Day Enterprises had shot up over four times in the past one year to Rs 3,889.63 crore, from Rs 810.91 crore, a year ago.

People who have worked with Siddhartha say that he may have been under financial stress and political pressure in recent months. Last year, the income tax department had conducted raids on his properties across Bengaluru.

Born in Chikkamagaluru district, Siddhartha completed his post-graduation in economics from Mangalore University.

Shares tank 20%

The investors of Coffee Day Enterprises have lost Rs 813.3 crore during Tuesday’s trade. The company’s market capitalisation fell to Rs 3,254.33 crore during the day’s trade, from Rs 4,067.7 crore on Monday, a drop of 20%.

Coffee Day Enterprises’ stock price formed a gap down chart pattern on Tuesday and started the day at a loss of 19.99% or 38.50 points at Rs 154.05 on BSE, also the stock’s all-time and new 52-week low.

There were only sellers in the stock with pending sell orders worth 23,39,298 shares on BSE and 85,99,029 shares on NSE and no buyers standing. Volume-wise, 108,414 shares (including BSE and NSE) traded on the bourses.