hlw Keeble Hawson advises on IFA capital investment

Law firm hlw Keeble Hawson has acted for Sheffield-headquartered Independent Forgings & Alloys (IFA), one of the UK’s leading independent aerospace and industrial forgers, on its receipt of £8.5 million in capital investment from BGF to support its growth plans.

The funding will help fuel a number of investment initiatives designed to enhance IFA’s manufacturing and testing capabilities, delivering new commercial opportunities.

Operating from a 250,000 square foot facility in Sheffield, IFA manufactures high-integrity, open-die forged components for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and tier-one suppliers within the aerospace, nuclear, power generation, marine and oil and gas sectors.

Using materials such as nickel alloy, titanium, stainless steel and carbon alloys, the company primarily forges rings and bars for use in a range of end applications, including aircraft aerostructures and engines, industrial gas turbines, offshore oil rigs, civil nuclear reactors, formula one motor racing and space satellites.

CEO Andy McGuinness was part of the original team that acquired IFA in 2001 from Doncasters Group. Since then, the business has become firmly established as a major independent supplier in the global forging industry through continued investment in innovation, research and development, and people.

Now exporting to more than 15 countries across Europe, Asia and North America, IFA generated sales of more than £20 million in its current financial year and employs more than 150 people.

McGuinness said: “Forging has a long history in Sheffield but rather than being in decline, the uses and applications of our open-die products continue to grow. The market offers attractive opportunities and, because of our focus on quality and innovation, we are well placed to capitalise on these opportunities.”

“Since 2001, the business has grown steadily and remains in a strong position financially. Bringing on board BGF as a minority partner will allow us to accelerate the growth plans we have in place whilst maintaining control of company.”

The investment was led for BGF by Barry Jackson and Rob Johnson. Jackson added: “IFA is a well-invested business with strong leadership, a skilled workforce and a clear strategy for growth. Having developed deep relationships with OEMs and tier-one suppliers, the business has an opportunity to continue to build scale, capabilities and capacity, and we are pleased to be supporting their plans to do so.”

Michael Hall, a senior associate in hlw Keeble Hawson’s corporate team, said: “IFA has built an enviable reputation as a leading independent forger and BGF’s investment will be instrumental in enabling the business to harness the market’s wealth of potential. We wish Andy and the team continued success.”

BGF’s legal adviser was CMS CMNO. Duff & Phelps acted as corporate finance adviser to IFA.

(Pictured: hlw Keeble Hawson’s corporate team)