Dominique Lafont appointed as executive chairman of NHV group


Press release

Dominique Lafont appointed as executive chairman of NHV group

  • 17 January 2017

  • Buyout

  • Belgium, OSTEND

6 minutes de lecture

New hire will work together with CEO Eric Van Hal to strengthen the company’s position in both Europe and Africa.

NHV Group, the Belgium-based helicopter transport services company, and Ardian the independent private investment company, its main shareholder since 2014, today announce the appointment of Dominique Lafont as Executive Chairman.

The appointment comes following the recommendation by former Chairman of the Board Pascal Colombani, with Mr. Lafont having joined the board in 2015 as an independent member. 

This change of governance is intended to support NHV’s strategic ambition of becoming the major sector player in both its core markets of Europe and Africa. Mr Lafont will work closely towards this aim with CEO Eric Van Hal.

Just over a year ago, NHV unveiled a new base in Aberdeen, UK, giving it the platform to service the oil and gas sector in the North Sea and significantly strengthen its increasing market share in Europe. 

Now Dominique Lafont’s appointment will allow NHV to make a big push into its different markets and notably in Africa, given his extensive experience in both the transportation industry and business development in the region. His past roles include CEO and President of Bolloré Africa Logistics from 2005 to 2014. Since 2015, Mr. Lafont has served as Senior Advisor of KKR and BCG, as well as having set up his own advisory and investment company, Lafont Africa Corporation.
Commenting on his appointment, Mr. Lafont said: “This is a great opportunity to participate in the next stage of growth for a company which has strong potential. I look forward to working  alongside CEO Eric Van Hal, the management team and board with the support of Ardian in taking NHV forward.”

NHV’s CEO Eric Van Hal commented: “I’m convinced that Dominique Lafont’s appointment will strengthen our team and help us to realize our ambitions for the future. His extensive business experience and his intimate knowledge of Africa will be a valuable asset for us, and allow us to further bolster our presence both there and in Europe. 
At the same time, the board would like to express its deep gratitude towards Pascal Colombani for the significant contribution he has made to the development of the NHV Group during his tenure.”

The board of NHV Group now consists of: Dominique Lafont, Eric Van Hal, Liesbeth Tielemans, Pascal Colombani, Yves Louis Darricarrère, Béatrice Beitmann, Alexandra Goltsova and Nicolas Darnaud.

About NHV Group

The NHV group, based in Ostend Belgium, is specialized in B-to-B helicopter services and has a strong geographic presence in Europe and Western Africa. The group conducts operations out of several bases on the two continents with a team of over 550 employees. NHV’s main focus is on the oil and gas industry. The group has a leading position in Europe as the only helicopter operator that conducts operations in every oil producing country in the region. The scope of work also includes: Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS), Maritime Services, which include Search and Rescue (SAR), offshore Wind Farms and Harbor Pilot Services. Vertech Offshore and Airlift are two specialized companies within the NHV group who are leaders in their niche of flare tip replacement and power grid construction and maintenance. Aside from the helicopter operations, NHV is an approved training organization (ATO) and an official service center for our partner Airbus Helicopters. The group has a multipurpose high value fleet of 65 helicopters. Since 2012, NHV has ordered 16 helicopters of the state-of-the-art Airbus Helicopters H175 model and is the global launching customer to fly the H175.

About Ardian

Ardian, founded in 1996 and led by Dominique Senequier, is an independent private investment company with assets of US$60 billion managed or advised in Europe, North America and Asia. The company, which is majority-owned by its employees, keeps entrepreneurship at its heart and delivers investment performance to its global investors while fuelling growth in economies across the world. Ardian’s investment process embodies three values: excellence, loyalty and entrepreneurship.

Ardian maintains a truly global network, with more than 450 employees working through twelve offices in Beijing, Frankfurt, Jersey, London, Luxembourg, Madrid, Milan, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Singapore and Zurich. The company offers its 550 investors a diversified choice of funds covering the full range of asset classes, including Ardian Funds of Funds (primary, early secondary and secondary), Ardian Private Debt, Ardian North America Direct Buyout, Direct Funds (Ardian Mid Cap Buyout, Ardian Expansion, Ardian Growth, Ardian Co-Investment), Ardian Infrastructure, Ardian Real Estate and customized mandate solutions with Ardian Mandates.

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