LDC sells stakes in BOFA International


LDC, a private equity investor LDC said it has completed the sale of fume extraction and filtration specialist BOFA International (BOFA) to NYSE-listed Donaldson Company.

Donaldson Company is a worldwide manufacturer of filtration systems and parts.

LDC said in a statement that Donaldson has agreed to acquire an 88 per cent stake in BOFA for GBP79 million, valuing the business at GBP90 million.

BOFA specialises in the design, development and manufacture of fume and dust extraction systems across a range of applications and sectors including laser, electronics, mechanical engineering, printing and 3D printing, pharmaceutical and dental. Its clients include world leading companies such as such as ASM Pacific Technology, Videojet Technologies, Roland and Markem-Imaje.

LDC originally backed the GBP23 million management buyout of the business in 2015 to drive its international growth and product development. Over the three-year period revenues have almost doubled and are expected to reach GBP32 million this financial year, thanks to continued investment in the company’s infrastructure to support the businesses’ global growth strategy.

During the partnership, BOFA has established its first European on-the-ground presence with an office in Hamburg, Germany and invested in its US-based operation in Illinois, which has since delivered 23 per cent year-on-year growth. Around 90 per cent of BOFA’s revenues are to export markets in the US, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia.

With a significant investment in product development, BOFA recently launched its iQ2 range of products which uses advanced technology to monitor real time filter performance and access system data to support fast and effective filter replacement and system maintenance.

BOFA also moved into their new 12,000 sq ft purpose-built building – “BOFA Centre of Excellence”, supporting Customer Service, Technical Support and Research and Development. Built next to its existing manufacturing facilities in Poole, Dorset, the company now employs approximately 250 people across its combined facilities, an increase of more than 50 per cent since LDC’s original investment

The transaction was led by Christian Bruning and Chris Baker at LDC.

Tony Lockwood, chief executive of BOFA, says: “Innovation and customer service has long been at the heart of our ethos, and with the additional capital and expertise LDC has brought on board we’ve been able to elevate the business on the global stage, whilst keeping a steady momentum of new products in the pipeline so we remain at the forefront of the industry.

“We look forward to a new era for BOFA, and a partnership with Donaldson Company, a global leader in the filtration market will only help build on our success to date.”

Christian Bruning, Investment Director at LDC, says: “BOFA is a stellar example of British manufacturing at its best, with its products being in demand across the world. From the outset, Tony and his team had a clear vision for the business and have executed an expansion strategy which has seen it achieve exceptional growth.

“Our journey with BOFA demonstrates the direction private equity can help take a business, unlocking the ambition of a management team and working in partnership to create a business which has scale, operational excellence and a clear route for future growth.”

BOFA has been recognised for its market-leading products, being awarded 2 Queen’s Award for Enterprise for outstanding achievement by a UK business in the categories of International Trade and Innovation for its Intelligent Operating (iQ) system, and earlier this year was also recognised for its fast-growing international sales in The Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200.

The transaction is subject to customary conditions including receipt of required regulatory approval.

LDC and BOFA International were advised by Lincoln International, Shoosmiths, KPMG, CIL and Quantuma.