Without any fanfare, the $4.7 billion sale of Signature Aviation to a consortium of private equity firms was completed last week. The groups—Blackstone, Global Infrastructure Partners, and Cascade Investments—combined to establish a jointly-owned company and issued the successful bid, which was approved by Signature Aviation’s shareholders in late March. The purchase was officially sanctioned by a UK court on May 27.
“Effective June 1, Blackstone, Global Infrastructure Partners, and Cascade assumed ownership of Signature Aviation, which is now a privately held company no longer publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange,” Signature said in a statement released to AIN. “All three companies have unmatched experience successfully investing across the aviation, transportation, infrastructure, and hospitality sectors. They are deeply committed to accelerating the growth of the Signature Aviation business while making a positive impact on our team, our customers, the environment, and the communities we serve.”
In January, Global Infrastructure Partners issued an offer of $4.6 billion to purchase Signature, which operates the world’s largest FBO network with more than 200 locations globally. That prompted responses from Cascade, which handles the bulk of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates’s personal fortune and owned a nearly 20 percent stake in Signature, as well as from private equity group Blackstone Infrastructure Advisors and Blackstone Core Equity Management Associates, which had previously issued its own $4 billion offer, to combine forces to buy Signature.