LDC completes £125million sale of Bifold to Rotork plc

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 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.

LDC backed the tertiary buyout of Bifold in April 2012 and 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 ‘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 £41m.

Rotork plc is a FTSE 250 company and is the market leading actuator manufacturer and flow control company. The business, which recorded revenues approaching £600m for its last financial period, has made a number of international acquisitions in recent years.

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.”

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 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.”

Simon Lord, Managing Director of Manchester-based investment bank Altium, advised LDC and shareholders on the transaction, while legal advice was provided by Addleshaw Goddard Partner Paul Medlicott.

LDC’s Manchester office is currently celebrating its 15th anniversary and recently announced a pledge of up to £300m of capital over the next three years to invest in mid-sized companies throughout the North West

Notes to Editors

  1. LDC is the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.  
  2. LDC backs ambitious management teams from UK-based medium sized companies seeking up to £100m of investment to fund management buyouts or development capital transactions.
  3. LDC invests in a broad range of sectors and has particular experience in Healthcare, Industrials, Retail & Consumer, TMT, Travel & Leisure, Support Services, Construction & Property and Financial Services.
  4. LDC has a UK regional network with locations in Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Newcastle, London, Manchester, Nottingham and Reading.