ADB Safegate

The partner of choice for airports in airfield visual guidance


ADB Safegate is the world leader in airfield visual guidance, a resilient niche market with high barriers to entry and solid growth.

In May 2013, we positioned ourselves as the most credible buyer of ADB, the then world leader in Airfield Ground Lighting (AGL), through the experience we gained in the airport related industry with Swissport and Nuance and the trustful relationships we have been able to create with the management.

We acquired ADB with the conviction that the company could further accelerate its growth, leveraging its technology leadership in the attractive AGL market characterised by sound underlying growth drivers and high entry barriers.

In a few years, ADB was transformed from a niche specialist to the airport partner of choice, offering diversified product solutions to more than 200 clients in 175 countries.

  • 175


  • 2,000

    airports served

  • #1


  • Learn more about ADB Safegate
  • How did we transform ADB

    Under PAI’s ownership, ADB underwent its first evolution, achieving organic growth and entry into new markets. We accelerated development in selected key markets through the build-up of industrial capabilities, and conducted initiatives to improve operational efficiency globally.

    In 2016, ADB acquired Safegate, bringing together the complementary strengths of two market leading airport visual guidance brands and offering a unique value proposition to its clients around the world.

    "ADB and Safegate have joined forces. Together we have the power to create a great future for airports all over the world" - Christian Onselaere, CEO ADB Safegate.

An attractive underlying market

ABD Safegate operates in a market with sound underlying drivers, with passenger growth at c. 5% p.a. and growing docking guidance system penetration.

Airports today are presented with complex challenges. The forecasts predict air traffic will double by 2035 leaving airports with serious capacity constraint.

ADB can help airports resolve their most pressing challenges quickly and smoothly with the right blend of technology and solutions.

  • 237 million

    passengers by 2035

Integrated technology solutions for airports

Three years after our acquisition, ADB acquired Safegate Group, the world leader in aviation Docking Guidance Systems (DGS) and the second largest player in the AGL industry.

This acquisition reinforces the company’s leadership and creates the only global player that offers complete airfield visual guidance solutions from landing to parking, combining airfield lights, docking systems and tower systems.

At the time of its exit the group was the undisputed leader in AGL and DGS. In October 2017 we sold ADB Safegate to The Carlyle Group.

  • 260

    tower solutions deployed

  • 7000

    docking installations

  • 100

    integration projects at airports

Meet the deal team

  • Laurent Rivoire

    Partner General Industrials

    Laurent Rivoire

    General Industrials

    Laurent joined PAI in 2001 and heads the General Industrials Sector Team. He has been involved in a number of transactions including ADB Safegate, InnoVista, FTE, Global Closure Systems and Michel Thierry.

    He started his career with Bossard Consultants in Paris and then worked for the Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs in London.

    Laurent graduated from ESSEC in 1990 and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. His French and English are fluent, and he is conversational in Spanish.

  • Ragnar Hellenius

    Partner Nordics Team

    Ragnar Hellenius

    Nordics Team

    Ragnar joined PAI in 2008 and is responsible for the Nordic Team. He participated in a number of transactions including Perstorp and Atos Medical.

    He has more than 10 years of experience in management consulting having worked for Accenture, McKinsey & Company and Booz Allen Hamilton. At McKinsey & Company he was a member of the Corporate Finance and Private Equity practices, advising European Private Equity firms on investments, portfolio company value creation and exits. He also worked as CFO and deputy CEO for Unibet Plc, a European online gaming company.

    Ragnar holds a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering and Management from the Institute of Technology in Linkoping. His Swedish and English are fluent, and he is conversational in French and Danish.

  • Albin Louit

    Principal General Industrials Investment Group

    Albin Louit

    General Industrials Investment Group

    Albin joined PAI in 2006 as a member of the Investment Group. He is also part of the General Industrials Sector Team, and has been involved in a number of transactions including ADB Safegate, Kiloutou, Xella and Labeyrie.

    He started his career as a visiting associate at the Boston Consulting Group in Paris.

    Albin graduated from Ecole Polytechnique in 2002 and holds a Master’s Degree from UC Berkeley in Engineering and Project Management, as well as the Management of Technology Certificate from the Haas School of Business. His French and English are fluent, and he is conversational in German.

  • Jérémie Masset

    Director Investment Group

    Jérémie Masset

    Investment Group

    Jérémie joined PAI in 2014 as a member of the Investment Group, and has been involved in several transactions including VPS, ADB Safegate and Atos Medical.

    He started his career in strategy consulting at Advancy before joining the Boston Consulting Group, spending one year in the firm’s private equity practice.

    Jérémie graduated from Ecole Polytechnique in 2005 and holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from the Paris School of Economics. His French and English are fluent, and he is conversational in German.

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