ADB Airfield Solutions

Manufacturer of innovative products and services for airfield operations

Founded in 1920, ADB is the world leader in Airfield Ground Lighting (AGL) products, systems and solutions for the visual guidance of aircrafts, serving over 2,000 airports across more than 175 countries internationally. Headquartered in Belgium, with manufacturing presence in the USA (Columbus, Ohio) and a global network of sales offices and distributors, the company has approximately 400 employees in 10 locations worldwide and registered sales of approximately €130 million in FY09.

The ADB opportunity was identified by Montagu's origination team long before the process started. This gave Montagu a strong knowledge of the business and highlighted its potential for operational improvement which proved decisive in securing the debt financing.

In November 2009, Montagu Private Equity completed the acquisition of ADB from Siemens AG. The total debt package of €73 million was financed by Bank of Ireland, WestLB, Siemens Financial Services, Fortis and KBC Bank. Montagu was the only bidder able to secure the financing within the process deadlines. ADB combined strong defensive characteristics thanks to its unrivalled installed base with attractive growth perspective, both in terms of sales and margins. With Montagu's active support, management has developed the group internationally, continued to fund investment in R&D, and further improved customer service. Montagu created an independent company “ADB Solutions”. During Montagu’s ownership, ADB’s profits have more than doubled and the company has expanded internationally, increasing its exposure to emerging markets including China, South America and the Middle East. Today, the company generates approximately €160m of revenues, 45% of which now come from emerging markets. The company’s growth and internationalisation reflect the increasing demand for airport infrastructures across the world and rising standards and requirements in term of safety, reliability and efficiency.

In March 2013, ADB Solutions was acquired by PAI Partners. Rothschild acted as exclusive financial adviser to Montagu and ADB. BNP Paribas advised PAI Partners.

Deal details

Deal type: Management Buyout Investment Year: 2009 Country: France Status: Realised Value: Undisclosed Industry Sector: Industrials