LDC exits Bifold Group investment for 2.4x return

LDC has sold its investment in oil and gas engineering business Bifold Group to Rotork for 125 million pounds. The transaction generated a 2.4x money return for LDC.

Press Release

Leading mid-market private equity house LDC has exited its investment in oil and gas engineering business Bifold Group to Rotork plc (MAIN: ROR). Bifold is a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of valves and pumps to the oil and gas sector with sites in Manchester and Taunton, as well as Houston and Singapore. The £125m transaction delivers a 2.4x money return for LDC.

In 2014, Bifold moved into new ‘state-of-the-art’ 30,000 sq ft manufacturing facilities in Oldham, Greater Manchester, to increase capacity and its technical capabilities. It completed the acquisition of Orange Instruments, which offers the business access to a range of specialist control system products, in July 2014. For the financial year ending 31 August 2014, Bifold recorded revenues of £35.5m.

Rotork plc is a FTSE 250 company and operates across the controls, fluid systems, gears, instruments and site services sectors. The business, which recorded revenues approaching £600m for its last financial period, has made a number international acquisitions in recent years, including Korean instrument manufacturer Young Tech Co. Ltd in 2014 and Italian actuator manufacturer GT Attuatori Srl in 2013.

Gary Jacobson, CEO of Bifold, said: “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.”

Simon Lord, managing director at Altium, added: “It has been an absolute pleasure to work with the Bifold management team for almost a decade and with all the Company’s shareholders, including LDC on this exit event. The oil and gas market has experienced some challenges in the last twelve months, and this transaction is a testament to the strength of the Bifold business and the ability of the Company to constantly innovate its product offering during dynamic periods.”

This is the third time that Altium has advised the shareholders of Bifold following the Caird buy out in 2007 and the LDC transaction in 2012.

Ged Gould, Director and co-head of LDC in the North West, said: “Bifold is now part of one of the UK’s top engineering companies and a global leader in the control systems market. 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.”

Simon Lord, Managing Director of Manchester-based investment bank Altium with support from Adam Sivner and Mark Smith advised LDC and shareholders on the transaction, while legal advice was provided by Addleshaw Goddard Partner Paul Medlicott with support from Oliver Hincks and George Danczak.

This transaction follows an exceptional first half for Altium in 2015 after advising on 26 deals worth £5.4bn. Other notable transactions include the £1.9bn sale of New Look to South African investment company Brait, as well as the £303.7m sale of Prezzo to TPG Capital.