Mid-market private equity house LDC has upped its interest in the retail and consumer sector by backing the management buy-out of restaurant group D&D London.
A £50 million management buy-out (MBO) for D&D London is set to allow the business to expand domestically and overseas.
LDC has backed the deal and will add the company to a retail and consumer portfolio which already includes entertainment products reseller musicMagpie and Fever Tree.
D&D London owns and operates 30 restaurants globally with a focus on London. In the capital, the company has outlets including Coq d’Argent, Bluebird and Quaglino’s.
In 2012, D&D London opened three new venues and moved into the hotel market by opening a £50 million boutique hotel, South Place in the City of London.
Through the MBO, LDC will be buying out existing vendors Conran Holdings and Caird Capital, while the company’s senior management will be retaining interests in the business.
Des Gunewardena, CEO of D&D London, comments, ‘This is an important point in the development of D&D. We have made good progress this year opening new venues, diversifying our core portfolio and expanding internationally and, despite the continuing fragile economy, D&D will report another year of increased revenue and profits.
‘Our partnership with LDC will enable us to continue to invest in our business and in growing D&D in the UK and internationally. I’m confident they will be excellent partners for us going forward.’
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Gunewardena and managing partner David Loewi set up D&D London in 2006 following a partial MBO of the business, previously known as Conran Restaurants, from Conran Holdings.
D&D’s first overseas venture was Alcazar in Paris back in 1998, which was followed by the launch of Guastavino’s in New York in 2000 and, more recently, two restaurants, Botanica and Iconic, in Tokyo during 2007.
Daniel Sasaki, managing director of LDC, adds, ‘D&D London has demonstrated a fantastic ability to create enduring premium restaurant concepts and many of its outlets are regarded as among the world’s most famous restaurants.
‘We are delighted to be backing Des and David, who lead an outstanding management team, to further enhance D&D’s growth and performance through investing in the group’s current portfolio while also opening new sites.’
The D&D board will see Gunewardena continuing as CEO and Loewi as managing director, with the addition of non-executive directors from LDC replacing those from Conran Holdings and Caird Capital.
LDC’s last deal came through the sale of nursery care provider kidsunlimted for £45 million to Bright Horizons Family Solutions.