An investigation reveals shocking details into Coffee Day Enterprises Ltd after the death of founder V.G. Siddhartha that at least 20 billion rupees ($270 million) are missing from its accounts. Cafe Coffee Day founder committed suicide in July 2019.
According to Bloomberg reports, the months-long following the suicide of Siddhartha examined the financial transactions of India’s largest coffee chain and its dealings with dozens of private companies owned by the entrepreneur.
The draft report, running more than a hundred pages, points to billions of rupees that have gone missing, said the people, asking not to be named because the details aren’t public, the report said further.
The probe also reveals the details hundreds of transactions between the founder’s listed and personal businesses that were not conducted at arm’s length. The report is in its final stages and is expected as early as this week, however, the precise details could change before its release.
The missing funds could total more than 25 billion rupees, one person said.
“The investigation report is still a work in progress, and not finalized,” a spokesman for the company said. “The board of directors and the company are unaware of its content at this point of time. Hence it would be premature to speculate on the investigation findings.”
The priority for management and Siddhartha’s family “is to keep the business running in a challenging environment and meet all stakeholder commitments, including 30,000 jobs associated with the group,” the spokesman added.
“The promoter family and management are fully cooperating with the investigation…The family owns coffee plantations, which command the best prices in the coffee-growing regions. They will sell some of them to clear the debt, and also because of their reluctance to manage such large holdings.”
Siddhartha, the son-in-law of Bharatiya Janata Party leader SM Krishna, went missing on July 29. His body was found on the banks of the Netravati river, near Hoige Bazaar in Mangaluru, two days later. It was reported that the 60-year-old had jumped from a bridge. In a letter that surfaced hours after he went missing, Siddhartha said financial troubles and harassment by Income Tax authorities had led him to “succumbing to the situation”.