VG Siddhartha Missing: KKR Says It Holds 6% Stake In Cafe Coffee Day, HDFC Says It Has No Exposure
Global private equity firm KKR & Co. on Tuesday said it is “deeply saddened” by news of VG Siddhartha missing, adding that it continues to hold 6 percent stake in his Coffee Day Enterprises Ltd., down from 10.3 percent earlier.
"We are deeply saddened by the developments and our thoughts are with his family at this time. We believe in VG Siddhartha and had invested in the company about nine years ago," KKR said in a statement, adding that it part-exited the investment last year.
Housing Development Finance Corporation Ltd., on its part, said that it has no exposure to Coffee Day Enterprises or any of the firms linked to VG Siddhartha.
"HDFC had disbursed lease rental discounting loans to Tanglin Developments (Cafe Coffee Day) for its project Global Village Tech Park in Bangalore. The entire loan was repaid in January 2019 and has no exposure to the Coffee Day Enterprises group as on date," said an HDFC spokesperson.
In a purported letter sent to Coffee Day Enterprises’s board and the employees of Cafe Coffee Day on July 27, Siddhartha said he was under pressure from one of the private equity partners to buy back shares. He has also blamed pressure from lenders and the income tax department in the letter.
To be sure, private equity funds have a shorter investment horizon of 1-7 years where they help an invested company grow, and then exit.
VG Siddhartha, aged 57, is the son-in-law of former Union Minister SM Krishna.
On Monday, he was headed for Sakleshpur in Karnataka but on the way he had asked his driver to go towards Mangaluru, according to the police. On reaching a bridge over the Netravati river in Kotepura area of Dakshina Kannada district, he alighted from the car and told his driver that he was going for a walk.
“He (Siddhartha) asked the driver to wait till his arrival. When he did not return even after two hours, the driver approached the police and lodged a missing complaint,” Sasikant Senthil, deputy commissioner of Dakshina Kannada district, said.
More than 200 policemen and divers on about 25 boats are carrying out searches for him. The deputy commissioner said that sniffer dogs have also been pressed into service.