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Private equity in action - Case Study

ADB Safegate

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Country Belgium
Region Bruxelles / Brussel
Investor PAI Partners

In May 2013, PAI partners acquired ADB Airfield Solutions, the then world leader in Airfield Ground Lighting (AGL). The company had strong product leadership and occupied a resilient niche of the market.

With PAI’s support, ADB grew organically and through acquisitions to capitalise on the global increase in air traffic and the development of airport infrastructure in emerging markets. It has expanded into new areas to provide complete airfield guidance solutions, combining lighting, docking and tower systems.

Over a period of just four years, ADB has been transformed from a niche specialist to the airport partner of choice, offering diversified product solutions from landing to parking to more than 200 clients in 175 countries.

Christian Onselaere


ADB Safegate

PAI has been an extremely solid partner to our company, strongly supporting our growth both organically and through acquisitions, as well as being a keen supporter of our transformation towards a pro-active, consultative provider of integrated end-to-end Airport Performance Solutions. Quotation Marks Graphic

increase in orders


increase in revenues

What did the business need?

  • Support for its global expansion plans
  • Assistance with acquisitions in its existing markets and expansion into adjacent activities
  • Identification of operational efficiencies that could result from growth

How did private equity backing create lasting value?

  • Completed the transformational acquisition of Safegate, a family-owned company and the world leader in docking guidance systems with the assistance of PAI’s Nordics team
  • Improved operational efficiency globally with support from PAI’s Portfolio Performance Group
  • Increased organic growth through pricing, salesforce effectiveness initiatives and boosting R&D capability
  • Reduced cost by improving sourcing and inventory management and optimising the industrial footprint

What outcomes did private equity investment achieve?

  • Created the undisputed global leader in airfield guidance systems to provide airports with end-to-end airfield management systems
  • Integrated ADB and Safegate into ADB Safegate, fundamentally transforming the company and enhancing the value proposition for airport customers with turnkey / solution offering
  • Increased revenues more than twofold and improved EBITDA (measure of company performance) threefold

More information

ADB Safegate

PAI Partners


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