PAI Partners has sold Belgian airport services company ADB Safegate to the Carlyle Group.

ADB Safegate supplies a range of services within airports, from manufacturing airfield lighting to providing docking guidance and air traffic control. It serves more than 2,500 airports in 175 countries.

Based in Zaventem, the business has production sites in Belgium, Germany, the US and China, as well as a software development centre in Austria. It employs 900 people.

PAI’s initial investment came through the acquisition of ADB Solutions from Montagu in 2013. Last year it created the expanded business by bolting on Safegate International, which was formerly part Fairford Group.

“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,” said Laurent Rivoire, partner at PAI Partners.

Carlyle has made the investment from its fourth European buyout fund, which closed at €3.75bn in July 2015.

Citi, Lazard and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer advised Carlyle. Credit Suisse, Rothschild and Willkie Farr & Gallagher advised PAI Partners. Callisto and Clairfield acted as financial advisers to the management team.