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Clairfield advises long-term client on sale to private equity

Clairfield International is pleased to announce the sale of ADB Safegate by PAI Partners to The Carlyle Group, alongside managers. Clairfield International acted as financial advisor to ADB Safegate’s management team.

Born from a complex carve-out from Siemens in 2009, ADB Airfield Solutions, renamed ADB Safegate after the acquisition of its Swedish competitor Safegate in 2016, has become the worldwide leader in global airport performance solutions. The company designs and produces solutions for airfield ground lighting, aircraft docking guidance, and air traffic control, complemented by a full range of integrated end-to-end services. The company’s ground-breaking solutions address critical challenges faced by airports globally such as congestion, operational complexity, environment and sustainability performance as well as digital disruption. Today ADB Safegate serves more than 2 500 airports in over 175 countries, with more than 900 employees and four production facilities in Belgium, Germany, the US, and China, as well as a software development center in Austria. ADB Safegate generated approximately EUR 400 million in consolidated revenues in 2016.

The Carlyle Group, based in Washington DC, is one of the largest private equity funds worldwide, managing USD 162 billion and a combined portfolio of about 170 investments.

Clairfield International was the preferred advisor of ADB in three previous transactions. In 2013, Clairfield advised the LBO of ADB with PAI Partners, alongside management. In 2014 Clairfield advised the company on the acquisitions of Lucebit Group and of Erni in Germany and Switzerland, propelling the company to an expansion phase that encompassed both new technologies and strengthening of regions.

Through this new LBO, ADB Safegate will benefit from Carlyle’s global scale and experience to achieve further growth goals and continue to help the aviation industry in facing today’s challenges. Chief among these is enabling airports to handle more air traffic with their existing infrastructure through the integration of systems for the airfield, gate, and tower.

“I am pleased to have served as a trusted advisor to ADB and been a participant in its growth from a EUR 180 million Siemens’ subsidiary, to a global company with double the revenues today,” said Bertrand Hermez, partner at Clairfield International.

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