News

Former Conran restaurant empire D&D London serves up £100m auction

soccer merchandise colour
The Official Soccer Merchandise Store

The owner of famous British restaurants including Coq d’Argent and Quaglino’s is braving headwinds caused by soaring inflation and staff shortages with an auction that could value it at £100m.

Sky News has learnt that the private equity firm LDC has asked corporate financiers at Interpath Advisory to launch a sale process for D&D London, the group founded by the late Sir Terence Conran.

City sources said that Interpath had been instructed to kick off talks with potential buyers after exclusive talks with Montecito Equity Partners, a little-known investment firm, failed to result in a deal.

A sale of D&D, which is run by Des Gunewardena, one of the industry’s most prominent executives, would entail its first change of ownership in almost a decade.

PA NEWS PHOTO 13/8/98 TERENCE CONRAN CELEBRATES THE OPENING OF HIS NEW RESTAURANT " COQ D'ARGENT" IN LONDON. THE RESTAURANT AT NO. 1 THE POULTRY IS CONRAN'S FIRST IN THE CITY
Image:
Sir Terence Conran was 88 when he died in 2020

D&D also operates prominent London venues such as the Bluebird in Chelsea and Skylon on the South Bank, and has seen a resurgence in sales since the hospitality sector was gripped by fears of a renewed crisis over the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

A D&D spokesperson declined to comment on the prospective sale process, but said current trading across its sites “is very strong”.

It could command an enterprise value of in the region of £100m, according to one source.

The timing is intriguing because of the turbulence facing many restaurant businesses as inflation eats into margins and staff shortages force partial closures of myriad sites.

The business founded by Sir Terence – who died in 2020 – last changed ownership in 2013.

It trades from about 40 sites, many of which have become renowned as celebrity haunts, with restaurants – despite the company’s name – located in Bristol, Leeds, Manchester, New York and Paris.

Sir Terence pioneered new trends in upmarket dining when Le Pont de la Tour near the Tower of London and Quaglino’s in St James’s opened in the early 1990s.

D&D is named after the current chairman Des Gunewardena and deputy chairman David Loewi, who took on the business when they bought a stake in Conran Restaurants in 2006.

In 2013, LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group, took control of the business.

The buyout firm considered listing D&D on the stock market in 2015 but a flotation did not materialise.

A subsequent restaurant venture of Sir Terence’s, which owned outlets including Lutyens on Fleet Street, was forced to call in administrators in 2018.

The launch of an auction of D&D will come in the wake of a change of ownership at another of the capital’s top restaurant groups.

Corbin & King, which owns The Wolseley, Colbert and The Delaunay, was recently sold out of administration to Thai-based Minor International amid a bitter legal row.

soccer merchandise colour
The Official Soccer Merchandise Store
Liverpool
Chelsea
Manchester City
Arsenal
Tottenham Hotspur
Manchester United
Leicester City
Newcastle United
West Ham United
Barcelona
Real Madrid

Source link

Related Posts