UPDATE 1-GIP joins Blackstone, Cascade to buy Signature Aviation
Adds details on deal, background
Feb 5 (Reuters) - Former Gatwick owner GIP, U.S. private equity giant Blackstone BX.N and Bill Gates' investment vehicle together tabled an increased bid for private jet services firm Signature Aviation SIGSI.L that values it at $4.73 billion, above a previous GIP solo bid.
The recommended $5.62-per share bid ends a months-long takeover battle for the British company that at one point involved interest from Blackrock rival Carlyle CG.O.
The London-listed firm's board last month backed a $5.50 offer from GIP, which was higher than the $5.17 joint bid by Blackstone and Signature's top shareholder, Cascade. nL4N2JM1CO
The new cash offer is to buy all of Signature's shares other than the 19.01% owned by Cascade Investment and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust.
GIP, which still manages a 49.99% stake in Gatwick, and Blackstone will own 35% each of the consortium, while Cascade will own 30%.
(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong and Muvija M in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)