Bengaluru, August 19: In a bid to reduce debt, the promoters of Coffee Day Group plan to restart talks with Coca-Cola to sell a chunk of their stake. According to an ET Retail report, the late founder of the Group, VG Siddhartha, had been in talks with the beverage giant as of June last week. CCD Founder VG Siddhartha Death: Here's What Led to Fund Crunch in Cafe Coffee Day.

The negotiations had reportedly halted because Coca-Cola wanted a controlling stake, while Siddhartha was looking at divesting only a minority stake. The group on Saturday said its total outstanding debt was Rs 4,970 crore, including Rs 4,796 crore secured loans and Rs 174 crore in unsecured loans.

CCD consisting of over 1,600 outlets in 219 cities, is valued at $1.5 billion. Earlier this month, the board informed that it has appointed Ernst and Young LLP to investigate into the circumstances leading to statements made in the purported letter of Siddhartha and to scrutinise the books of accounts of the company and its subsidiaries.

On July 31, Siddhartha's body was recovered from Netravati river, after he went missing for two days and his mobile phone was not reachable. He wrote an emotional letter to employees and board of directors two days before his disappearance. In his letter, VG Siddhartha said he failed as an entrepreneur. After IT raised doubts over the authenticity of the letter that went viral, CCD confirmed that it was Siddhartha's signature in the note.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Aug 19, 2019 10:40 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website