The bid speculation surrounding Orient-Express Hotels took a twist yesterday when India’s Tata Group bought a 10% stake in a move that could lead to an eventual takeover. The Times

The Indian Hotels Company, the Tata subsidiary that owns the luxury Taj chain, paid $211.3m (£105m) for the stake as ‘a reflection of its deep commitment to the possibility of an association with Orient-Express Hotels’.

It announced that it intends to forge a strategic alliance with Orient-Express, although sources said its preferred route would be an outright takeover.

Orient-Express has been at the centre of bid speculation for more than six months, with Starwood Capital, Von Essen Hotels, the Reuben brothers and Lord Marland, the former Conservative Party treasurer, among the possible suitors for all, or part, of the company.