Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty has bought a 33% stake in Indian food group V8 Gourmet Holdings and plans to launch a range of ready-made meals across Britain in the New Year.
Shetty's Gourmet Creation Range will be initially North Indian, her native region. The selection will include fish, lamb, chicken and vegetarian dishes, although the full range is yet to be confirmed.
"I'm 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," said Shetty.
"I envisage a great future with a whole new line of products and restaurants all over Europe, Dubai and Jordan," she added.
The £6m investment will be used to expand V8's successful Bombay Bicycle Club Kitchen Delivery Service, of which there are currently 15 in the UK.
Based on the success of the first Vama restaurant in Chelsea, a second will be opened in Holland Park. There are also plans for global growth with two Tiffinbites restaurants opening abroad. One of the casual dining style restaurants will launch in Dubai in October 2009 and another is set to open in Jordan in March 2010.
Shetty's fiancé Raj Kundra is involved in the joint venture. A successful entrepreneur in his own right, he is the chief executive officer of Trade Essential Dubai, an international trading company.
The V8 Group encompasses the Bombay Bicycles Club Kitchens, Tiffinbites, Vama and Gourmet creation brands.
By Lesley Foottit
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