Cafe Coffee Day Founder V. G. Siddhartha is MISSING!!!

Cafe Coffee Day Enterprises Ltd., the Indian rival of Starbucks Corp., slumped the most on record after its tycoon founder went missing.

V. G. Siddhartha asked his driver to stop his car on Monday evening, before going for a walk near the Southern Indian city of Mangaluru, local police official Jayant Kumar said by phone. The driver informed police when Siddhartha didn’t return after an hour, Kumar said. The company is taking help from concerned authorities, and its leadership team will “ensure continuity of business,” Coffee Day said in a stock exchange filing.

Shares of Coffee Day Enterprises slumped as much as 20% to 153.40 rupees in Mumbai trade, their lowest level on record. The broader S&P BSE Sensex index was up 0.3%.

Cafe Coffee Day Enterprises — in which Siddhartha holds 32.75% stake, according to data compiled by Bloomberg — is a holding company for several businesses, the most prominent of which is Cafe Coffee Day. It has more than 1,500 cafes across the country. Siddhartha was seeking a valuation of as much as $1.45 billion from Coca-Cola Co. to sell a stake in the coffee chain he set up, India’s Economic Times reported last month.

A representative for Coffee Day, which also exports coffee, didn’t immediately respond to a call and an email seeking comments.

Cafe Coffee Day went public in 2015, almost two decades after opening its first cafe in Bengaluru. It is now present in more than 200 cities. The company, founded in 1993, opened its first international cafe in Vienna in 2005, according to its website.

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