After much speculation, Tata Coffee, a coffee subsidiary of Indian tea conglomerate Tata Tea, has announced it will acquire a 34.3% stake in dynamic young coffee bar chain Barista. Barista has impressed industry onlookers with its rapid growth since it launched last year, and plans to operate 75 bars by December this year.

Tata Coffee is to pay Rs26 crore (US$5.5m) for the stake in Barista, which currently serves some 14,000 customers from its 38 outlets. By the end of its second year of trading, the group expects to generate turnover of Rs64 crore and pre-tax profits.

It is believed that Barista was earlier approached by expansive US coffee house chain Starbucks. Barista chose instead to ally itself with a partner with strong upstream synergies - Barista will gain access to Tata's roasting facilities. Indeed, the ambitious young group is already talking about international expansion, with South Asia, West Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa in its sights.