Home Latest News Business News Carlyle hires banks for rival 3bn Signature Aviation bid | Business News

Carlyle hires banks for rival 3bn Signature Aviation bid | Business News

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The private equity giant Carlyle has enlisted two Wall Street banks to help it explore a 3bn takeover offer for Signature Aviation, a service provider to the fast-growing private jet market.

Sky News has learnt that Carlyle has hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley to advise it on a potential counterbid that would mark the outbreak of a full-blown bidding war for Signature.

Funds managed by Blackstone have already tabled an offer worth £3.86-a-share for the London-listed company, which was previously known as BBA Aviation.

Another bidder, Global Infrastructure Partners, has also indicated its interest in a bid for Signature, albeit at a lower level than Blackstone’s proposal.

Sources said that Carlyle had approached Signature in recent days to requests due diligence access to the aviation group’s books.

The emergence of Carlyle as a potential counterbidder increases the likelihood of a bumper payday for Signature shareholders.

The biggest beneficiary of a bidding war would be the billionaire Bill Gates, the former Microsoft chief, who holds roughly 20% of the company.

Carlyle is an experienced investor in the aviation sector, and is also familiar with Signature’s business having sold Landmark Aviation to BBA for $2.1bn in 2016.

Signature is chaired by Sir Nigel Rudd, the veteran industrialist who has presided over a string of takeovers of big British corporate names during his long career.

Carlyle declined to comment on Thursday.



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