BOFA International’s Managing Director
Tony Lockwood (centre) and management team

Case study

BOFA International: Reaching growth potential

My ambition is to make BOFA the default name in fume extraction.

Tony Lockwood, Managing Director
BOFA International

The fume-extraction specialist transformed from a small family business to an international market-leader during our partnership.

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Sector
  • Industrials

BOFA International is a multi-award winning world leader in fume extraction and filtration.

Deal type
  • Management buyout
Deal value

£23m

Exit type
  • International trade sale
Exit date

11/09/2018

Exit value

£90m

In 2015, Tony Lockwood, Managing Director of BOFA International came to LDC looking for support for a management buyout and successfully completed the £23m deal. He was motivated by a belief that the business hadn’t yet reached its potential, and the subsequent years have proved him right. The value of the business doubled during our partnership and the company has won a string of awards for the growth it has achieved.

BOFA designs, develops and manufactures high-performance dust and fume extraction systems for a wide range of industrial sectors and supplies household names including Rolls Royce, Cadbury and McLaren.

The 2015 management buyout was a turning point for the business, as Tony Lockwood explains: “The Chairman wanted to retire and if we had chosen a trade sale, we wouldn’t have realised the true value of the business.”

The move allowed the new management team to invest in product development and focus on the company’s international expansion. “LDC’s backing and expertise helped us to professionalise and to accelerate growth,” he said.

The LDC team played a significant role in helping us achieve the success we did, focusing our strategy and helping us to find the right people at the right time to meet our goals.”
Tony Lockwood, Managing Director
BOFA International

Award-winning growth

Just two years after the investment, in 2017, BOFA won a coveted Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Innovation for its unique and revolutionary Intelligent Operating (iQ) system. The award recognised not just the innovative nature of the product, but also its strong financial performance.

Then, in 2018, the business appeared in The Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200, which lists the companies achieving the fastest rates of growth in overseas sales.

This was thanks in large part to the company establishing its first on-the-ground presence in mainland Europe with an office in Hamburg, Germany as well as investing in its US-based operation in Illinois. A move that led the US office to deliver 23% year-on-year growth and the business to increase its employee numbers by more than 50% in three years.

This expansion helped push international sales to over £21m by 2018.

During our partnership, overall revenues almost doubled, thanks to continued investment in the company’s infrastructure to support the businesses’ global growth strategy.

A true partnership

Our support for the business was much more than financial, and we worked very closely with the team, consulting on strategy and tapping into our extensive network of contacts to support the board.

Tony Lockwood said: “The LDC team played a significant role in helping us achieve the success we did, focusing our strategy and helping us to find the right people at the right time to meet our goals. Crucially, though, their input was always supportive and encouraging, rather than mandatory or demanding.”

The next chapter

In September 2018 LDC completed the sale of BOFA to NYSE-listed Donaldson Company, Inc. (NYSE:DCI), the leading worldwide manufacturer of filtration systems and parts. Donaldson agreed to acquire an 88% stake in BOFA for £79m valuing the business at £90m and marking our exit from the business.

Tony Lockwood and James Oliver from BOFA International discuss LDC’s approach

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Awards

Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Innovation

2017

Mid-Market Management Team

National BVCA Management Team Awards 2019

Management Team of the Year

BOFA – Solent Deal Awards

Large Deal of the Year

BOFA – Solent Deal Awards