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Mahindra picks up minority stake in East India Company

Last updated on: January 24, 2011 19:01 IST

Mahindra picks up minority stake in East India Company

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Prasun Sonwalkar in London

Mahindra Group has acquired a minority stake in the East India Company, the global luxury brand owned by Indian-origin entrepreneur Sanjiv Mehta who relaunched the company here in August 2010.

Established in 1600, the East India Company (EIC) is one of the most recognised brands in the world.

It once employed a third of the British workforce and was responsible for 50 per cent of global trade.

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Photographs: Rediff Archives
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Anand Mahindra, managing director of the Mahindra Group, said: "The East India Company was the world's first truly global brand spanning continents and centuries, and had a profound impact on the development of international trade. This immense vision and scope finds a parallel with Mahindra's own global aspirations to think beyond its size."

The company, however, did not divulge the value of the deal or other details. Mehta, 49, launched the EIC's first 21st century trade 'expansion' in the form of Fine Foods in Mayfair.

He acquired the company in 2005 and has since invested $ 15 million.

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Image: Anand Mahindra, managing director of the Mahindra Group

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EIC sources said that the company is now set to expand and launch on a global scale with an investment of $100 million over the next five years.

Located off Regent Street, Mehta's new store measures around 2,200 square feet.

Mehta, CEO of the East India Company, said, "The Mahindra Group is one of the most respected commercial enterprises with an excellent track record of corporate growth and governance at a global level."

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"We are proud to have earned the trust of such an organisation, and believe the association will aid the growth opportunities and aspirations we have across diverse products and geographies," he added.

He added: "The East India Company has been carved from history. We see ourselves as custodians of this great brand, and believe Mahindra Group's joining us will strengthen the integrity of the Brand and the company," he said.

Zooben Bhiwandiwala, managing partner of Mahindra Partners, said: "Mahindra Group is delighted to participate in the journey of revival and restoration of The East India Company. Its heritage is authentic and global, with the unique ability to transcend several luxury product categories."

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Looking to expand on a global scale, EIC will see further portfolio launches designed to build on the authenticity and heritage.

The Fine Foods business will now expand to Asia, the Middle East and the US via retail, e-commerce and selected wholesale operations.

Besides, the group will see further portfolio launches designed to build in the authenticity and heritage of the brand, including furniture and home decoration, publishing, jewellery and real estate, EIC sources said.

 



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