Signature Aviation dogfight ends when GIP makes an offer with Blackstone and Cascade By Reuters

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© Reuters.

By Yadarisa Shabong (Reuters) – A bidding war for Signature Aviation took a new turn on Friday when former Gatwick owner GIP joined forces with Blackstone (NYSE 🙂 and Bill Gates’ investment vehicle in an offering that values to the private jet services company at $ 4.73 billion. . Signature said it was recommending the new proposal and had withdrawn its support for an earlier offering from GIP, which last month increased its offer to $ 5.50 per share. This beat a $ 5.17 joint bid last month from Blackstone and Signature’s largest shareholder, Cascade. The latest offering of $ 5.62 a share could end a battle over the acquisition of London-listed Signature, which at one point attracted the interest of private equity firm Carlyle. “We look forward to seeing if Carlyle or any other interested party makes a higher offer,” analysts at Peel Hunt said. The latest cash offer is to purchase all of Signature’s stock except the 19.01% owned by Cascade Investment and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust. Signature shares were down 2.7% to 413 pence at 0841 GMT, but still above the new offer price of 411 pence ($ 5.62). The interest from large procurement firms comes at a time when the private jet industry fares better than commercial airlines as well-heeled travelers avoid crowded planes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Signature rejected an initial approach from New York-based GIP in December, saying the price was lower than the proposal outlined by Blackstone. The stock is up nearly 60% since Blackstone’s stake was first revealed in December, which Signature later said was its sixth such proposal. GIP, which still manages a 49.99% stake in Gatwick, and Blackstone will each own 35% of the Signature tender consortium, while Cascade will own 30%. ($ 1 = 0.7299 pounds)

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