Project Description

HMT advised the management team on its public to private management buyout of Donatantonio plc (“Donatantonio”), the Borehamwood based importer and distributor of premium quality Mediterranean food products.

Donatantonio was established in 1902 by Luigi Donatantonio as a Mediterranean retail outlet in central London, servicing Britain’s growing Italian population. During the 1950’s and 1960’s, Donatantonio moved from retail to distribution and started to supply food manufacturers with Mediterranean ingredients. In 1997, it was listed on the London Stock Exchange.

The business, which is now run by the third generation of the Donatantonio family, principally supplies the food manufacturing sector with products including pasta, tomatoes and olive oil in addition to the major retail outlets with branded products including Pagani and Balzano.

The management team is led by Sheila Donatantonio, the existing Managing Director who has been with Donatantonio since 1991. She is joined by Darren Bedford, the current Sales Manager who has been appointed to the Board and Chris Welsh who has been appointed Sales Director. Rod Garland joins the Board as Non-Executive Director.

Sheila Donatantonio commented:

“We are highly motivated by this exciting development and look forward to continuing to grow the highly successful and long-established family business by building on the Donatantonio commitment to supplying quality products to our long established “blue-chip” client base. We see this development benefiting our existing and potential customers, as well as our long established supplier base and highly committed staff.”

Led by partner Andrew Thomson, HMT acted as financial advisors to the management team and sponsors of the Offer Document.

Andrew Thomson commented:

“The key to the success of this management buyout was to secure a funding structure and assemble a management team to allow the business to implement its exciting growth plans from a solid platform. As such, a sale and leaseback of the business premises was secured which allowed management to retain 100% ownership of the business without incurring substantial levels of debt and with the MBO comes a much strengthened management team which will also benefit from the continued involvement of the previous executive chairman, Vince Donatantonio, as a consultant.”