LDC Backs £50 Million MBO Of Restaurant Group D&D London

22 Apr 2013

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LDC, the leading UK mid-market private equity house, has backed the £50 million management buyout of premium restaurant group D&D London, which owns over 30 restaurants in London, Leeds, Paris, New York, Istanbul and Tokyo. The deal will enable the company to fund further domestic and international expansion as well as invest in and enhance its diverse portfolio of outlets, which includes some of London’s most iconic restaurants.

As a result of the transaction LDC will buy out vendors Conran Holdings and private equity investors Caird Capital, with the company’s senior management retaining their investment in the business.

Des Gunewardena will remain Chairman and CEO of D&D London and will, backed by the new partnership with LDC, continue to lead the business and drive its strategic expansion.

Gunewardena and Managing Director David Loewi, who originally formed D&D London in 2006, following a partial management buyout of the business, then known as Conran Restaurants, from Conran Holdings, have built the company into one of the world’s leading restaurant groups.

Our new 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.

Des Gunewardena

CEO of D&D London

D&D London owns and operates over 30 premium restaurants globally. In the UK its focus is on central London, where many of its outlets have become iconic restaurants, such as Coq d’Argent in the City, Quaglino’s in Mayfair, the Bluebird in Chelsea and Plateau in Canary Wharf. Other high-profile outlets include Skylon, on London’s South Bank, Kensington Place and Launceston Place.

Last year marked a renewed period of expansion for D&D in London with the opening of new venues – 3 South Place and Angler restaurants in the South Place Hotel off Moorgate; and two restaurants (New Street Grill and Fish Market), a wine shop (New Street Wine Shop) and a bar (Old Bengal Bar) in the Old Bengal Warehouse off Bishopsgate. Last month the group also launched its first UK restaurants outside London, Crafthouse and Angelica, which opened adjacent to the new Trinity shopping centre in Leeds.

D&D London has also diversified into hotels. In 2012 the group opened the £50 million, 80-room, boutique hotel, South Place, based in the City of London, which has been nominated for a number of awards including listing on Conde Nast’s 2013 “Hotlist” of the best new hotels in the world.

D&D’s first overseas venture was Alcazar in Paris (1998), which was followed by the launch of Guastavino's in New York (2000) and, more recently, two restaurants, Botanica and Iconic, in Tokyo (2007). D&D’s latest international venture is a 10,000 sq ft restaurant complex in Istanbul's Trump Towers, which is set to open in May 2013.

With its iconic restaurants and diversification into hotels, D&D has an exciting strategy and we look forward to helping the group unlock its global potential.

Daniel Sasaki

Managing Director, LDC London

D&D London’s business model is to create high-quality premium restaurants, each trading under its own fascia, with its format driven by the unique characteristics of its concept and location, targeting the mass affluent largely across central London and other global hubs.

D&D London has demonstrated its ability to create enduring restaurant concepts, many of which have traded successfully for over a decade, and the management has an excellent track record of delivering strong returns on refurbished and renewed sites as well as new venues. As a result the group is well positioned to capture an increasing share of the corporate market as well as additional spending from individual customers as economic conditions gradually improve. 

LDC has a growing track record in the Retail and Consumer sector. Recent investments include New World Pubco, Fever Tree, Original Additions and musicMagpie.

Last year LDC invested over £280 million in 18 deals. 

Daniel Sasaki, Managing Director of LDC, commented:

 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. With its iconic restaurants and diversification into hotels, D&D has an exciting strategy and we look forward to helping the group unlock its global potential.”

Des Gunewardena, CEO of D&D London, commented:

“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 new 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.”

For further information please contact:

Morgan Rossiter

Richard Morgan Evans/James Rossiter     

T: 0203 195 3240 M: 07751 087291                                                          

Article Footnotes

Notes to Editors:

  1. LDC is part of the Lloyds Banking Group and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
  2. LDC back ambitious management teams from UK-based companies seeking between £2m and £100m of equity for management buy-outs, institutional buy-outs or development capital transactions.
  3. LDC invests in a broad range of sectors and has particular experience in Construction & Property, Financial Services, Healthcare, Industrials, Retail & Consumer, TMT, Travel & Leisure and Support Services.
  4. LDC has a UK regional network of 8 offices.
  5. For further information visit www.ldc.co.uk

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