Leading mid-market private equity house, LDC has exited its investment in oil and gas engineering business Bifold Group to Rotork plc.
Bifold is a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of instrument valves and pumps to the oil and gas sector with the main sites in Manchester and Taunton. The £125m transaction delivers a 2.4x money return for LDC.
Backing the tertiary buyout in April 2012, LDC has since provided the financial support to enable the business to invest heavily in new product innovation and development.
In 2014, Bifold moved into new 30,000 sqft advacned manufacturing facilities in Oldham, Greater Manchester, to increase capacity and its technical capabilities.
It completed the acquisition of Orange Instruments, which offers the firm access to a range of specialist control system products, in July 2014.
For the financial year ending 31 August 2014, Bifold recorded revenues of £41m.
Rotork plc is a FTSE 250 company and is a market leading actuator manufacturer and flow control company. Recording revenues approaching £600m for its last financial period, Rotork has made a number of international acquisitions in recent years.
CEO of Bifold, Gary Jacobson commented: “Through our partnership with LDC, we have built a business that can compete globally with the best in the market.
“We now look forward to a new era for Bifold, as part of Rotork, as we strive to further push the boundaries of British engineering in the oil and gas sector.”
Director and co-head of LDC in the North West, Ged Gould said: “Bifold is now part of one of the UK’s top engineering companies and a global leader in the flow control sector.
“The deal with such a major, listed player in its sector demonstrates the quality of the business’ product offering that it has developed and is testament to its reputation in the industry for technical expertise and delivery. We wish the management team and staff all the best in the future as Bifold embarks on the next stage of its growth journey.”
LDC’s Manchester office is currently celebrating its 15th anniversary and recently announced a pledge of up to £300m of capital over the coming three years to invest in mid-sized companies throughout the North West.
Over the past 12 months, the team in the region has deployed nearly £100m of capital in four investments having backed the £83m management buyout of Manchester-based Synexus, the £20m secondary buyout of Waterfall Services and led the MBOs of Mini-Cam and Seabrook Crisps.
Nationally, LDC has deployed upwards of £300m in 13 investments since the start of the year, including the £307m acquisition of The National Exhibition Centre Group (NEC Group) and the £207m management buyout of global insurance technology specialist, SSP.