LDC South backs a £23million MBO of BOFA

LDC has completed a significant investment to support the £23million management buyout of BOFA International (“BOFA” or "the business"), the world’s leading designer and manufacturer of fume extraction systems.

LDC’s investment will help support BOFA’s continued growth and development, including expansion into new markets, further investment in product development, international reach and potential future acquisitions.

Headquartered in Poole, BOFA is the global market leader in Fume Extraction Technology. The business’ product range encompasses a wide variety of highly technical fume extraction systems suitable for use across a diverse range of applications and sectors, but primarily within fast moving consumer goods (“FMCG”), automotive electronics, printing, pharmaceutical and dental.

Established by David Cornell in 1987, BOFA has a strong reputation for its design innovation and a high quality product and service offering. The firm’s innovative systems help ensure operator safety, by capturing harmful fumes in the form of particles and gases, filtering these out before circulating clean air back into the environment.

In recent years, BOFA has capitalised on the increasing global demand for fume extraction systems, which has been largely driven by growing regulation and legislation, alongside the need for corporates to ensure the well-being of their employees, whilst driving manufacturing efficiencies.

As BOFA’s products usually form part of larger Original Equipment Manufacturer (“OEMs”) systems, the business is often required to play a critical role in supporting its customers from the offset of an overall design process. Together with its UK-head office in Dorset, the business has an operation located in Illinois, USA, providing an ‘on the ground’ presence and enabling a more efficient service of BOFA’s growing market share within the all-important USA and South American markets.

LDC is backing BOFA’s existing management team led by Chief Executive Tony Lockwood. As part of LDC's investment strategy, the executive team will be further supported by the appointment of Chris Thomas who joins the board as Non-Executive Chairman. Chris brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the business and has worked with LDC on a number of successful investments over recent years.

The transaction has facilitated a transition of ownership for the Cornell family who founded the business. Chris Cornell will be staying with the company as a shareholder, working with LDC and the management team to continue the growth of the business.

BOFA employs more than 160 staff and having reported significant growth in recent years, the business has annual turnover of £16million.

The deal was transacted by LDC’s Reading team with Investment Director Christian Bruning and Investment Manager Chris Baker joining the board with immediate effect.

LDC completed the transaction with support from a number of regional advisors including HMT, Baker Tilly, Shoosmiths, Blake Morgan, Osborne Clarke and CIL with senior debt for the transaction provided by the local team at RBS, led by Mark Ward.

Commenting on the new investment, LDC’s, Christian Bruning, said: “BOFA is a high-quality business with a market leading reputation in the provision of reliable and long-lasting fume extraction systems.

“LDC has a proven track record of working with businesses operating within specialist manufacturing and we’re thrilled to be investing in BOFA. For us, the business has identified clear opportunities to achieve significant future growth and its highly talented management team has the ambition and commitment to deliver on this.”

The transaction was completed using capital from LDC’s commitment to invest £550million in manufacturing and specialist engineering businesses by the end of 2016. LDC has completed 15 deals in the manufacturing sector since the start of the commitment in October 2011.

Tony Lockwood, Chief Executive of BOFA said: “The management team is delighted to be acquiring BOFA as the business continues to go from strength to strength.

“Having achieved consistent growth in recent years, we’re well positioned to capitalise on future growth opportunities and the financial backing and strategic input that LDC’s investment brings will have a great impact in helping us to facilitate these ambitions.”

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.