Ardian joins Eric Van Hal in NHV acquisition

Private investment company Ardian has joined forces with Eric Van Hal, chief executive and co-founder of the NHV Group, to acquire a majority stake in the Ostend-based NHV Group from the founder shareholders.

NHV Group is an international helicopter transport services group.
Based in Ostend, Belgium, NHV was founded in 1997 by Van Hal, Jozef de Kinder and Concordimo. Fin.co Capital Partners, a Belgian family office, joined the founding shareholders in 2009 to further support the company’s growth. 
NHV has 360 employees across 15 bases on three continents, with a solid track record of rapid international expansion and a leading position in Western Africa, excluding Nigeria.
NHV has a multipurpose high value fleet of 28 helicopters with an average age of 7.5 years. In 2013, NHV is expected to record turnover of close to EUR90m, increasing organic growth by 34 per cent on the previous year. NHV has ordered 10 helicopters of the state-of-the-art Eurocopter EC175 model and is the global launching customer and the first operator to receive the EC175 in 2014.
Van Hal says: “We are pleased to welcome Ardian as a very solid European partner in our business. The transaction will give us a sustainable shareholding structure for the group and the platform to accelerate the implementation of our strategy. We decided to partner with Ardian as we have been impressed by the industry knowledge and know-how of the team. We also share a common set of values and ambitions.”
Béatrice Beitmann, managing director of mid-market enterprise capital at Ardian, says: “This transaction fits perfectly with Ardian’s investment strategy. NHV has all the key indicators of future success – the company is a leader in a growing niche market, and has real potential for further considerable international growth, both in its currently serviced markets, but also in new markets. We will provide NHV with all the necessary resources to support the company’s ambitious development plans.”

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