We are delighted to announce the sale of Didsbury Engineering (‘Didsbury’) to MEL Aviation, delivering our clients a 4.6x return on exit, meaning that for each £25,000 invested they received c.£114,000 in proceeds. Clients originally backed the management buy-out (MBO) of Didsbury Engineering in 2003, investing £1.5m.
Investment Date: October 2003
Exit Date: July 2016
Legal advisers: Gateley plc
Since the investment, Didsbury has gone from strength to strength, increasing its sales in the civil aviation and defence sectors to both UK and export markets, and growing its supply of health & safety products to the general industrial market.
The original deal was structured through a combination of loan notes and ordinary shares, resulting in repayment of investors original investment capital a long way before exit. It has also consistently provided a good level of dividend income for investors and management over many years.
Established in Manchester in 1941, Didsbury moved to purpose built premises in Wilmslow in Cheshire in 2005 following the MBO. Didsbury manufactures and supplies specialist lifting and handling equipment as well as safety products for the civil aviation, defence and industrial markets worldwide.
Didsbury’s lifting devices are specified for the assembly and maintenance of most makes of passenger aircraft including Airbus and Boeing. Its diverse product range has many other applications, including hoists and tripods used in confined space rescue operations, and “Purge Air” – Didsbury’s innovative system for entering fuel tanks safely.
"We’re delighted that our clients’ sustained commitment to Didsbury Engineering has been so well rewarded. Private investors have seen their backing enable a strong and capable management team take control of a struggling business and strengthen its position to become a world leader in its field and deliver substantial returns in the process." Bernard Dale, Managing Partner - Private Equity