Gastrotec specializes in planning and design services for professional foodservice and laundry operations in Latin America. Bill Taunton heads up the Gastrotec office.
"I met Bill Taunton working with FCSI. We are centralizing a lot of the production and assisting him," said William Caruso, one of three principals in WC & Partners, along with Des Hague and Steve Young. "We can bring local flavor with global expertise. And that will provide a great sense of comfort to our customers down there."
As part of the partnership, WC & Partners will support Gastrotec in a variety of ways, including production services. "It is as simple as it sounds. We did not acquire any shares of their company and vice versa," Caruso added. "We are working together on an exclusive basis to grow our businesses throughout the world. This is the first step on to bigger and better things."
As a result of the arrangement with Gastrotec, WC & Partners will now have a presence in nine cities throughout the world. This is not the first time WC & Partners has entered into a relationship like this. In 2015 WC & Partners entered into a similar relationship with BBG – Consulting, a consulting firm from Düsseldorf, Germany, and led by managing partners Karl-Heinz Kreuzig and Tina Froboese.
"As long as you create an environment that does not create high risk on any one partner and you see market opportunity, then take it. I took that cue from guys like Jim Little and John Cini," Caruso said. "They did this in a very professional way that developed the firm with everyone's best interests in mind."
While individual markets tend to differ in terms of how they go to market, the one common bond that connects them all is the importance of relationships. "It's all about relationships down there. Do you know the families? Do they feel comfortable to you? Once they feel comfortable they are very loyal to you," Caruso said. "After being down there extensively, I feel very strongly that we can bring that level of expertise that we have spent the past 30-plus years cultivating. Bill is a great partner because he lives down there, speaks multiple languages and is very well respected."