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DJ GIP, Partners Form Consortium to Buy Signature Aviation for $4.73 Bln -- Update

· 02/05/2021 08:43

--Consortium offer is $5.62 for each Signature share, up from GIP's sole offer of $5.50 a share

--Consortium includes Bill Gates's investment vehicle Cascade Investment LLC

--Carlyle Investment Management LLC also made takeover approach on Jan. 7

By Adria Calatayud and Anthony O. Goriainoff

Global Infrastructure Partners LLC has joined forces with Blackstone Group Inc. and Bill Gates's investment vehicle Cascade Investment LLC to acquire Signature Aviation PLC for $4.73 billion in cash.

Under the offer, which has been agreed by a newly formed entity called Brown Bidco Ltd. and Signature Aviation, accepting shareholders will get $5.62 a share--equivalent to 411 pence--the companies said Friday.

Signature said that in light of the new offer it has now withdrawn its recommendation for the original Global Infrastructure offer of $5.50 a share in cash that was agreed last month.

While the offer price in pounds is a 53% premium to Signature's closing price of 268.0 pence on Dec. 16--the day before it first declared that the company had received an offer approach from Blackstone--it is still a 3.3% discount to Thursday's closing price of 425.2 pence.

Signature shares at 1340 GMT were down 11.40 pence, or 2.6%, at 414.40 pence.

On Jan. 7, Signature said that it had been approached by Carlyle Investment Management LLC over a potential takeover of the company but said no proposal had been put forward. No further information on the approach has been disclosed since.

"We await with interest to see whether Carlyle or any other interested party make a higher offer," Peel Hunt said.

Blackstone Infrastructure and Blackstone Core Equity will own 35% of Brown Bidco, GIP will hold a further 35% and Cascade will own the remaining 30%, the companies said.

"We believe that the offer from Blackstone, GIP and Cascade represents an attractive and certain value in cash today for Signature shareholders reflecting the high quality of the business and its network, its people and its future prospects, and at a higher price than the previous GIP offer announced on Jan. 11 2021," Signature Chairman Nigel Rudd said.

Write to Adria Calatayud at adria.calatayud@dowjones.com and Anthony O. Goriainoff at anthony.orunagoriainoff@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 05, 2021 08:43 ET (13:43 GMT)

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