A concern often expressed by management teams considering private equity investment is a perceived loss of control. When you’ve created a business, scaled it successfully and developed a strategy for growth, the last thing you want is a third party muscling in and throwing its weight around the boardroom.
The private equity industry itself can often give the impression that it’s all about control and power.
We take a different approach.
Consider Des Gunewardena and David Loewi who have been at the centre of London’s dining scene since the early 1990s. They acquired their business through a management buyout in 2006, securing investment to carve it out from the highly successful Conran Group. When the time came to bring a new partner on board to help them reach their next goal, the team selected LDC.
At the time, what we saw was a management team who knew their market inside out and had a clear vision for growth; a team who had launched several successful new restaurant concepts and set new standards on a global stage.
Our view then – and our view today – is that the management team should manage the business, whatever the shareholder structure.
Our role is to back the team’s vision with the capital needed to achieve it – to unlock the potential in the business and remove the barriers to growth.
Empowering, not overpowering.
Whether we’re enabling a management team to take ownership of a business for the first time, or supporting expansion through further investment or acquisition, our approach is based on this same, single principle.
We can add strategic input through our experienced investors and non-executive director networks, we can provide operational expertise to support growth through our in-house specialists, and we can create business opportunities from a portfolio of 100 growth companies.
But most of all – and what we’ve learned from over 35 years of investing – is the need to respect the role and desire of managers to manage and lead. That’s when you get partnerships build on trust – and trust is the winning ingredient in our partnership with D&D London.
Chris Hurley, CEO of LDC