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BGF get family businesses - they really do

Eamon Donnelly, co-founder of Uform
Specialist manufacturers | Northern Ireland

Eamon Donnelly founded Uform, a supplier of kitchen doors and components, in Toomebridge, County Antrim, in 1993 alongside his father and brother.

The strong growth of the business accelerated when Eamon was shortlisted for EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year programme in 2016. After meeting several private equity firms, in 2019 Uform received a multimillion-pound investment package from BGF and Danske Bank.

The funding allowed Uform to invest in production facilities and equipment, expand its product range, and boost its equity value from £38 million to £69 million.

In 2022, BGF exited its investment when Uform completed a deal with Ireland-based private equity firm Cardinal Capital that generated a more than 2x money multiple on BGF’s initial investment.

BGF has reinvested alongside Cardinal as a minority shareholder, while Eamon and his brother Paul are still involved in the business as non-execs.

In this interview, Eamon explains the importance of values in business, his love for cars, and how his upbringing shaped the person he is today.

BGF & Uform

In 2019, BGF completed a multimillion-pound investment into kitchen accessory business Uform to allow it to invest in equipment and build its product range. During the investment period, the business grew 40% a year. In 2022, BGF exited the business following a deal with Cardinal Ireland Partners, a fund managed by Irish private equity firm Cardinal Capital. BGF has reinvested as a minority shareholder.

I would take investment from BGF every day of the week.