In last letter to CCD board, Siddhartha blamed lenders, tax authorities

CCD founder VG Siddhartha
In his last letter to the Coffee Day Enterprises' board of directors dated July 27, its co-founder V G Siddhartha said he had fought for a long time, but was giving up as he could not take any more pressure from one of the private equity partners who was forcing him to buy back shares. Siddhartha, who is missing since Monday night, had said that "tremendous pressure" from other lenders had made him succumb to the situation. 

In the letter, Siddhartha also alleged harassment by the previous DG, Income Tax in the form of attaching of shares on two separate occasions to block the Mindtree deal and then taking possession of Cofee Day shares.  

The contents of the letter were posted on Twitter by CNBC-TV18.

Siddhartha, former Karnataka chief minister SM Krishna's son-in-law, is suspected to have jumped off a bridge in Mangaluru on Monday night, the Times of India reported on Tuesday. According to the report, the news emerged after the Mangaluru City Police started a search for a person who had jumped off the kilometre-long Ullal bridge on Monday night.

"I would like to say I gave it my all. I am very sorry to let down all the people that put their trust in me," he wrote in the letter, which was also addressed to the wider Coffee Day family. "I fought for a long time but today I gave up as I could not take any more pressure from one of the private equity partners forcing me to buy back shares, a transaction I had partially completed six months ago by borrowing a large sum of money from a friend. Tremendous pressure from other lenders lead to me succumbing to the situation," he added.  

Siddhartha also said that there was "a lot of harassment from the previous DG income tax in the form of attaching our shares on two separate occasions to block our Mindtree deal and then taking position of our Cofee Day shares, although the revised returns have been filed by us". 

"This was very unfair and has led to a serious liquidity crunch," he added. 

Siddhartha stated that he had failed to create the "right profitable business model" despite his best efforts.

In the letter, Siddhartha requested the board and the company's officials "to be strong and to continue running these businesses with a new management". 

Taking full responsibility, he wrote, "I am solely responsible for all mistakes. Every financial transaction is my responsibility. My team, auditors and senior management are totally unaware of all my transactions. The law should hold me and only me accountable, as I have withheld this information from everybody including my family." 

Stating that his intention was never to cheat or mislead anybody, Siddhartha wrote that he had "failed as an entrepreneur". He added, "This is my sincere submission, I hope someday you will understand, forgive and pardon me." 

Siddhartha concluded the letter, in which he had enclosed a list of assets and their tentative value, by stating that the assets outweighed the liabilities and could "help repay everybody".

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