Shilpa Shetty buys 33% stake in V8 Gourmet for £6 milion

MUMBAI: Actress Shilpa Shetty and her fiancé, entrepreneur Raj Kundra have acquired a 33 per cent stake in V8 Gourmet Group. V8 is an international Indian food company valued at £20 million and encompasses The Bombay Bicycle Club Kitchens, Tiffinbites, Vama and Gourmet Creations brands.

The £6 million investment will be used to expand the company’s successful Bombay Bicycle Club Kitchens delivery service which currently has 15 Delivery Kitchens in the UK. It will also enable the company to expand the Tiffinbites restaurants, concessions and franchises in London and abroad. Global expansion for V8 includes the opening of two Tiffinbites casual dining and shopping mall dining formats in Dubai (October 2009) and Jordan (March 2010).

Building on the success of the critically acclaimed Vama Restaurant in Chelsea, frequented by Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver, the company also plans to open a second Vama Restaurant in Holland Park in London.

The investment will also see the launch of Shetty’s Gourmet Creations range of premium authentic gourmet meals, chutneys and pickles. The range will initially be North Indian and will later offer tastes from the South.

V8 Gourmet group managing director Arjun Varma said, "In January 2009, we acquired the business of Gourmet Restaurant Group which comprises of Tiffinbites, The Bombay Bicycle Club Kitchens and Vama. This provides the group with an excellent platform towards its growth aspirations and gives V8 a clear lead in the Indian Food sector. Shilpa shares a genuine passion for fine Indian cuisine and is a perfect ambassador for V8 whilst Raj brings a wealth of international business expertise which will help us to achieve our ambitious growth plans in the UK and overseas."

Shetty said, "I feel proud to be associated with the V8 Group. They have carved a niche for themselves in the Indian food industry in the last 13 years, and spell consistency, quality and authentic Indian food. I know that our partnership will grow and envisage a great future with a whole new line of products and restaurants all over Europe, Dubai and Jordan."