The pursuit of Signature Aviation Plc turned into a three-way contest, with Global Infrastructure Partners rejoining the battle for the world’s largest operator of private-jet bases after an earlier bid was rejected.
Signature Aviation agreed Monday to a $4.63 billion buyout by GIP, while leaving the door open for higher offers. Investors will receive $5.50 per share held, equivalent to about 405 pence at current exchange rates, according to a statement.
Shares of the U.K. company surged as much as 8.9% in anticipation of a bidding war involving Blackstone Group Inc. and Bill Gates, Signature Aviation’s biggest shareholder. Carlyle Group said last week that it was also considering jumping in.
“Nothing precludes either Blackstone and Cascade or Carlyle from making an offer proposal that the board of Signature Aviation will consider,” the company said in an email.