Benedetti to retire after selling first aid business

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Serial entrepreneur Gio Benedetti is calling time on his 50-year business career after selling his first aid kit company.

Benedetti, the father of critically-acclaimed violinist Nicola, has sold Wishaw-based Wallace Cameron to car-parts supplier V Group International for an undisclosed sum.

David Hunter, a partner at Glasgow-based accounting firm Campbell Dallas who oversaw the sale, said: “In the current economic climate and trading circumstances of the company this was a good sale ensuring the continuity of business for the benefit of suppliers and employees.”

Benedetti embarked on his career as an entrepreneur at the age of 18, when he ploughed £200 into a dry cleaning shop. He later admitted knowing nothing about business, but built it into a 15-store chain, before branching into industrial dry cleaning and garment rental and selling the business to Initial.

He bought Wallace Cameron – which had previously been owned by medical devices giant Smith & Nephew – from US company Alberto Culver in 1994.

The business, which was founded in Glasgow more than 60 years ago, will continue to trade from its Wishaw base under the Wallace Cameron International brand. Along with first aid kits, the business makes washroom supplies and safety signs, as well as providing health and safety training.

In 2007, Benedetti sold his clingfilm dispenser business, Wrap Film Systems, to the management team in a £21 million deal to pay down debts at his eponymous holding company.

Benedetti International saw its operating profits jump from £46,000 to £333,000 in the year to December 2011, the latest period for which accounts are available at Companies House. Turnover rose 4 per cent to £12.7m.