Together with his brother Akram Safa, he is the owner of Privinvest Holding, a major international naval construction group. In addition to this, Iskandar Safa and his brother Akram control, through P.I. Dev SAL, the French company FIMAS SA specialised in developing and managing real estate properties in the South of France.
Safa was born in Beirut in 1955 to a Maronite Christian family. In the late 1970s, Safa enrolled in the American University of Beirut, graduating with a Bachelor of Engineering degree in civil engineering. He left Lebanon to become a junior civil engineer in the United States, and then moved to France, where in 1982 he graduated with an MBA from INSEAD in Fontainebleau.
From 1978 to 1981, Iskandar Safa managed the construction of a military airport in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia).(This is not an accurate statement: during this period, and a bit later, he was working as a site engineer for INECC at the King Abdulaziz Military Academy project in Salbukh, near Riyadh)
In 1986, he became President of Triacorp International. On 19 January 2005, he stepped down as President of the company’s steering committee in favor of Eric Giardini.
During the 1990s Iskandar and his brother Akram founded Privinvest, a shipbuilding company specialising in naval and commercial vessels and mega yachts.
In 1992, he was elected by the CIRI (Comité Interministériel de Restructuration Industrielle) to purchase the Constructions Mécaniques de Normandie (CMN) in Cherbourg and managed to turn around the naval construction shipyard that was facing difficulties at the times. The CMN became a French company affiliated to Privinvest Group. Iskandar Safa is currently the main shareholder of the CMN. He is also President of the council of FIMAS Group which owns marble carriers in the town Saint-Pons-de-Thomières located in Herault, France, also called ‘Marbres de France’.
In 2007, Iskandar Safa took part in the creation of the Abu Dhabi Mar naval construction site with Al Aïn International and became executive director. Later on in 2011, Privinvest purchased Al Aïn International’s shares.
On 1 March 2018, a German consortium consisting of Thyssen Krupp and Luerssen is excluded by the German Government from the tender for the construction of the multi-purpose warship MKS 180 for the benefit of GNY (German Naval Yards), belonging to the Prinvinvest group, and the Dutch shipbuilder Damen.
He is currently considered as one of the wealthiest people in Lebanon.
Since 2011 Iskandar Safa has been the non-executive vice-president of the Marfin Investment Group’s steering committee, a holding company listed on the Athens’ stock-exchange.
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- "Company Overview of Privinvest Holding sal". Bloomberg.
- "Master of the art of staying afloat: Profile: Iskandar Safa: The likely new owner of Swan Hunter is an international dealer with visions of a world empire. David Bowen hears his plans". Independent. 26 June 1994.
- "Présentation de la société TRIACORP INTERNATIONAL SA". www.societe.com.
- "L'incroyable résurrection du chantier naval CMN à Cherbourg". La Tribune. 6 January 2015.
- "Iskandar Safa: "Nous ne sommes pas des promoteurs"". Nice Matin. 20 June 2015.
- "Abu Dhabi MAR grows by the yard" (PDF). www.cmnyacht.com.
- Murphy, Martin (March 1, 2018). "Deutsche Werften gehen bei Großauftrag der Marine leer aus". Handelsblatt.com.
- "Rich List - Iskandar Safa".
- "Marfin Investment Group Holdings SA (MRFGY.PK)". Reuters.