D&D London back on the market after failed sale talks, Berisha to take MD role: Restaurant operator D&D London has been placed back on the market after talks with UK-based investment firm Montecito Equity Partners, over a deal that would have reportedly valued the business at £100m, failed. Sky News reports Interpath Advisory had again been instructed to kick off talks with potential buyers for the LDC-backed business after exclusive talks with Montecito Equity Partners, a little-known investment firm, failed to result in a deal. A D&D spokesman declined to comment on the prospective sale process, but said current trading across its sites is “very strong”. Last October, Sky News reported D&D, which owns prominent London restaurants such as the Bluebird in Chelsea, Coq d’Argent in the heart of the City and Skylon on the South Bank, was thought to be several weeks from concluding a deal with Montecito Equity Partners. D&D owns and operates some 40 restaurants in major cities in the UK (London, Manchester, Leeds) and overseas (New York, Paris). D&D, which was founded by Sir Terence Conran, launched its latest restaurant last autumn, when it opened the alpine-inspired Haugen in Stratford, east London. A new venture in Birmingham is scheduled to open this year. 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 then 32-strong business, in a deal thought to be valued at about £50m. At the same time, The Times reports Baton Berisha, former chief executive of Richard Caring’s restaurant businesses, is to join D&D as its new managing director. Serial sector investor Caring took day-to-day control of his restaurant empire, which includes Bill’s and the Ivy Collection, in November last year after the departure of Berisha, who was named chief executive of The Ivy, Bill’s and Caprice Holdings and The Birley Clubs, in October 2020. Previous to that Berisha had been managing director of The Ivy Collection since July 2018, and added overseeing Bill’s and Caprice Holdings to his remit in January 2020 and July 2020, respectively.


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