<i>Safran</i> skipper Marc Guillemot named Knight of the National Order of Merit

Paris, December 11, 2009 – Marc Guillemot, skipper of the Safran Open 60 ocean racing yacht, will be awarded the medal indicating his rank as Knight in the French National Order of Merit by Jean-Paul Herteman, Chief Executive Officer of Safran, at the Paris Boat Show this evening.

Marc Guillemot was named to the National Order of Merit in recognition of his entire career, and in particular for his achievements during the Vendée Globe round-the-world race in 2008-09. In the middle of the race, he didn't hesitate a second in coming to the rescue of Yann Eliès, who was drifting in the Indian Ocean after a serious accident. The Safran skipper still finished third despite this detour and several technical incidents: problems with his mast and he also lost his keel a week before arrival.

"During the Vendée Globe Marc showed exemplary solidarity and humanity in helping to rescue Yann Eliès. His fierce determination allowed him to meet the human and technical challenges of this daunting race," said Jean-Paul Herteman.

Marc Guillemot and co-skipper Charles Caudrelier Benac recently won the Transat Jacques Vabre, a transatlantic race from Le Havre in France to Puerto Limon in Costa Rica. Safran finished first after 15 days at sea, including 12 in first place. On arrival, Marc Guillemot said, "This is my first major victory in an ocean race, which shows that you really have to be persistent! But first and foremost, this is a victory I share with Charles, as well as with our naval architects, technical team and the Safran group."

Based on these excellent results, Marc Guillemot is IMOCA world champion for 2009 in his class, the fitting culmination of an outstanding year for both Marc and Safran.

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Safran is a leading international high-technology group with three core businesses: Aerospace (propulsion and equipment), Defense and Security. Operating worldwide, the Safran group has 54,500 employees and generated sales exceeding 10 billion euros in 2008.
Working alone or in partnership, Safran holds world or European leadership positions in its core markets.
The Group invests heavily in Research & Development to meet the requirements of changing markets, including expenditures of 1.2 billion euros in 2008. Safran is listed on NYSE Euronext Paris and its share is part of the SBF 120 and Euronext 100 indexes.

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