Bidco agree terms for Signature acquisition


The boards of Bidco and Signature Aviation have reached agreement on the terms of a cash acquisition by Bidco of the share capital of Signature, other than Signature Shares owned or controlled by Cascade and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust (BMGFT).

Bidco is a newly-formed company to be indirectly owned by the joint offerers: Blackstone Infrastructure and Blackstone Core Equity, Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) and Cascade.

As of February 4th (the last business day before the announcement), Cascade and BMGFT owned or controlled 157,577,503 Signature shares, representing approximately 19.01% of Signature’s issued ordinary share capital. . It is thought that the acquisition will be implemented by way of a scheme of arrangement.

Sir Nigel Rudd, chairman Signature, said: “Over recent years, the management of Signature has created a leading global private aviation support services business, whilst streamlining the group to maximise value for shareholders. The resilient performance and strong financial position through the pandemic has enabled the Signature board to consider its future and evaluate this offer from a position of strength.”

Rudd said that the offer from Blackstone, GIP and Cascade represents an attractive and certain value in cash today for Signature shareholders, at a higher price than the previous GIP offer announced on January 11th this year.

Greg Blank, senior managing director, Blackstone’s infrastructure business, said: “We are excited to partner with Signature Aviation and its exceptional team. This investment aligns well with our infrastructure strategy of seeking to invest behind industry leading companies with whom we can partner to grow for decades.”

Adebayo Ogunlesi, chairman and managing partner, GIP said: “This is a powerful combination of private investors that is well placed to drive the Signature business forward. Our plan for Signature remains unchanged, putting customer service, operational consistency and growth at the heart of our strategy, supported by enhanced employee and stakeholder engagement and targeted investment.”

Michael Larson, business manager, Cascade, added: “Cascade has long believed in Signature and its ability to build the premier global FBO network that is sustainable over the long-term, having made its first investment in Signature in 2009. We are excited to continue to support Signature and its employees, customers, and all stakeholders in the next phase of growth.”