Global Infrastructure to Buy Signature Aviation for $4.6 Billion

Signature Aviation Plc agreed to a $4.63 billion buyout byGlobal Infrastructure Partners, which raised its bid for the world’s largest private jet-base operator.

Signature Aviation investors will receive 405 pence ($5.50) per share held, according to astatement Monday. The price is above the $5.17-a-share bid approach last week byBlackstone Group Inc. and Bill Gates, Signature Aviation’s biggest shareholder.

GIP edged out Blackstone and Gates’sCascade Investment LLC after making an earlier, lower offer in December. The new bid has the backing of Signature Aviation’s board, according to Monday’s statement. Carlyle Group said last week that it was also weighing a bid.

While it accepted the GIP offer, nothing precludes either Blackstone and Cascade or Carlyle from making an offer proposal that the board of Signature Aviation will consider, the company said.

Signature Aviation closed at 406 pence on Friday. The shares have gained about 50% since mid-December, when talks with Blackstone were first reported.

The company has opportunities for growth, Global Infrastructure said.

“As an operationally focused investor, with significant experience in the transport sector, GIP intends to support Signature to develop a stronger and more customer-focused business,” the company said.

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