New Delhi: Shares of popular coffee chain Cafe Coffee Day ended the day with a 52-week low, by falling 19.99 percent to Rs 154.05 a piece, a day after its founder VG Siddhartha went missing from Mangaluru in Karnataka.
While Siddhartha owns a direct stake of 32.75% in CCD, together with his family he controls 53.93 percent of the coffee-chain.
While the free-fall in the company's shares has led to investors' panic, the company has tried to allay the fears by writing to BSE that it is “professionally managed and led by competent leadership team, which will ensure continuity of business."
CCD in a regulatory filing said, “This is to inform you that, Mr V G Siddhartha, Chairman and Managing Director of Coffee Day Enterprises Limited has not reachable since yesterday evening. We are taking the help of concerned authorities. Company is professionally managed and led by competent leadership team, which will ensure continuity of business. We will keep you posted as and when we receive further updates”.
Cafe Coffee Day, a part of Coffee Day Global Limited, opened its first cafe in 1996 at Brigade Road in Bangalore and was listed in S&P BSE 500 in 2015. The company also has its presence in Austria, Czech Republic and Malaysia.
As per reports, Siddhartha had gone to Chikkamagaluru for a business trip. While coming back, he got off the Innova near Ullal bridge across the Nethravathi River near Mangalore, informed his driver. When he failed to return after 90 minutes, the driver started looking for him and alerted the police. His phone has been unreachable from Monday night.
A massive hunt has been launched by police to trace him. Police suspect Siddhartha jumped off the Ullal bridge. Siddhartha is the son-in-law of former Karnataka Chief Minister and senior BJP leader SM Krishna.
Siddhartha had been selling assets in the recent past in order to cut debt. In May, he exited from his 20.32 percent holding in Mindtree by selling the entire stake to construction major Larsen and Toubro through a block deal worth around Rs 3,200 crore.
As on March 2019, Coffee Day Enterprises, the holding firm of CCD, had a total debt of around Rs 6,550 crore while its logistics arm, Sical has Rs 1,113 crore debt.