In 2010, the international shipbuilding group Privinvest purchased its third shipyard in Germany, the Lindenau shipyard located in Kiel. Privinvest also previously purchased the HDW-Gaarden shipyard, also in Kiel, and the Nobiskrug operation in Rendsburg. The three-yard complex is today known as German Naval Yards Kiel.
The acquisitions were part of Iskandar Safa’s aggressive strategy of building capacity and infrastructure on his way to putting together what is today one of the world’s premier shipbuilding firms.
Iskandar Safa established Privinvest in the early 1990s along with his brother Akram Safa. Iskandar was born in Lebanon in 1955 and earned a degree in civil engineering from the American University of Beirut.
Shortly after the founding of Privinvest, the company was selected by CIRI to purchase the CMN (Constructions Mécaniques de Normandis) shipyards located in Cherbourg, France. The operation was struggling and facing deep financial difficulty at the time. Under the leadership of Mr. Safa, CMN turned around and soon became a robust and profitable enterprise.
The CMN shipyard today is considered by industry observers to be among the most advanced and well-managed firms in its sector. Thanks to the injection of capital and expertise by the Safa brothers, the 68-year-old CMN company has produced 700 ships supplying 38 navies. It’s noted for the cutting-edge and technologically advanced surface combatant vessels it provides in a range of models.
The German Naval Yards Kiel is also a prolific builder of military ships, especially frigates, corvettes and offshore or littoral patrol vessels. Nobiskrug is primarily dedicated to superyacht construction and the Lindenau yards handle repair and maintenance operations.
In addition to Germany and France, Privinvest holds shipyards in the United Kingdom, the Middle East and the Mediterranean. In all, the group has supplied ships to 40 world navies. Privinvest employs 2,500 people worldwide. The firm also is active in building high-tech gear ancillary to maritime activity. This includes advanced communications equipment and products for the green energy sector, such as turbines and hydrokinetic energy generation systems.