Mahindras buy undisclosed stake in East India Co

The diversified Mahindra Group, one of India's biggest conglomerates, has bought a minority stake in the London-based luxury brand The East India Company, both companies said today in a statement. Neither the stake size nor the financial details were disclosed.

The East India Co was acquired by its current chief executive, 48-year-old diamond trader Sanjiv Mehta, in 2005. It operates through a luxury store in Mayfair, London's fashion destination, which opened early last year.

The store deals in selling fine foods including tea, coffee, biscuits, jams and marmalades, chocolates, oils, sweets, and champagne, among other things.

In a joint statement the two companies said, ''Both companies will commence a long-standing relationship with significant investment to perpetuate the growth of the world's oldest international brand.''

Anand Mahindra, vice-chairman and 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. We look forward to further enhancing its equity across the world.''