Global Infrastructure Partners to acquire Signature Aviation for £3.43 billion

Written by: Wajeeh Khan
January 11, 2021
  • Global Infrastructure Partners to acquire Signature Aviation for £3.43 billion.
  • The deal translates to £4.07 per share in cash for Signature's shareholders.
  • Signature Aviation plc had rejected GIP’s initial proposal in December.

Global Infrastructure Partners said on Monday that it struck a deal to acquire Signature Aviation plc (LON: SIG) for £3.43 billion. The investment fund trumped buyout proposals from rivals, including Carlyle and Blackstone.  

Signature’s spokesman commented on the news on Monday and said:

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“Nothing precludes either Blackstone and Cascade or Carlyle from making an offer proposal that the board of Signature Aviation will consider.”

In separate news from the United Kingdom, EasyJet boosted liquidity with a new five-year £1.39 billion loan facility.

GIP’s offer translates to £4.07 per share in cash

Signature Aviation shares, that you can learn to buy online here, jumped more than 5% in premarket trading on Monday and gained another 5% on market open. At 440 pence per share, the stock is trading significantly higher than the low of 142 pence per share in March 2020 when the COVID-19 crisis weighed on the demand for air travel.

GIP’s offer translates to £4.07 per share in cash for Signature’s shareholders. In comparison, Blackstone had joined hands with Cascade Investment (Signature’s top shareholder) to propose a lower £3.83 per share instead.

Blackstone is yet to make an official statement in response to the news on Monday. Carlyle, on the other hand, has already refused to comment any further. Since December, when Signature made it public that it had multiple offers for a potential acquisition, its shares have gained over 60%.

Blackstone Group Inc. said in an announcement over the weekend that its head of tactical opportunities in Asia, Kishore Moorjani resigned after a tenure that spanned over nine years.

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Signature had rejected GIP’s initial proposal in December

Signature had rejected the initial proposal from Global Infrastructure Partners in December. The aviation services firm had said that GIP’s offer was weaker than the sixth proposal from Blackstone. Blackstone had initially approached to acquire Signature in February 2020.  

Following the completion of the transaction, the investment fund is expected to delist Signature Aviation from the London Stock Exchange. Global Infrastructure Partners still owns Edinburgh Airport. It’s also a former owner of the London’s Gatwick Airport. But GIP handed over Gatwick’s control to France’s Vinci Airports in a deal in 2018.

Signature Aviation performed fairly upbeat in the stock market last year with an annual gain of more than 20%. At the time of writing, the British multinational has a market cap of £3.66 billion and a price to earnings ratio of 48.97.