BUSINESSLEISURE & RETAILBill Gates swoops for private jet business after £3bn dogfight with Gatw

- EVENING STANDARD - Feb 5, 2021 -

Simon Freeman e Graeme Evans -

The deal will be worth $4.7 billion (£3.5 billion) in cash / Signature Aviation

The financial dogfight for Signature Aviation, the FTSE 250 company which once made parts for the Spitfire and now helps keep America's executive jets airborne, took another dramatic twist today.

Rival bidders Blackstone and Global Infrastructure Partners called a truce to join forces, and together with Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates's investment vehicle Cascade - which already holds a 19% stake - presented a joint offer to shareholders.

The deal will be worth $4.7 billion (£3.5 billion) in cash, around $100 million more than the standalone offer from GIP last month, which had previously been recommended by Signature's board.

Backing the alliance's fresh proposal at 411p a share, Signature chairman Sir Nigel Ruddit said it delivered “attractive and certain value”.

It will leave Gatwick Airport-owner GIP and Blackstone with 35% of the company’s shares each, while Cascade will up its stake to 30%.


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