In mid-July, it was announced that asset manager The Carlyle Group had “entered into a definitive agreement” to acquire ADB Safegate
ADB Safegate, which describes itself as a “leading provider of intelligent solutions that deliver superior airport performance from approach to departure”, is best known for the airfield lighting systems formerly manufactured by ADB and the gate docking guidance systems manufactured by Safegate.
It remains at the time of writing owned by PAI partners, which acquired ADB in 2013. The deal is expected to go through following the green light from the necessary regulatory authorities around October, although it could be any time in the second half of 2017.
The equity for the acquisition is coming from Carlyle Europe Partners IV, a European buyout fund. The exact terms of the deal have not been released, though media outlets such as Reuters have published figures on what they believe the acquisition involves.
ADB Safegate has more than 900 employees, with four production facilities in Belgium, Germany, the US and China, as well as a software development centre in Austria. It also has more than 100 agents and distributors, as well as a large network of dedicated R&D facilities.
Christian Onselaere, ADB Safegate’s CEO, comments: “We are grateful for PAI’s strong support as ADB Safegate embarked on a journey of transformation towards a proactive, consultative provider of integrated end-to-end Airport Performance Solutions.
“We are delighted and proud to continue this journey with Carlyle as a powerful partner. Together with Carlyle we will grow and further consolidate our position in the aviation industry while keeping the core values that made ADB Safegate successful in the first place: passion, quality, leadership and care.”
Laurent Rivoire, a partner at PAI Partners, observes: “When we acquired ADB in 2013, it was a leading player in airfield ground lighting. Four years later, through organic initiatives and the transformational combination with Safegate, the group has become the global leader in airfield guidance systems, providing airports worldwide with unique end-to-end airfield management solutions. We would like to thank the ADB Safegate management team led by Christian Onselaere for this successful partnership with PAI, and we wish them well in their next development phase.”
Jonathan Zafrani, the managing director of Carlyle Europe Partners, adds: “We are very impressed with ADB Safegate’s longstanding performance and in particular by its growth through strategic acquisitions. We welcome the opportunity to support the ADB Safegate’s management team’s goal to become the global solutions provider of choice for airports around the world. Partnership with Carlyle will enable the company to benefit from our global scale and network and our experience in many of the company’s end markets.”