Feb 5, 2021

GIP switches sides in bid for private jet group Signature Aviation

The former owner of Gatwick airport has switched sides and joined the Bill Gates-backed consortium seeking to buy private jet services company Signature Aviation. Global Infrastructure Partners, which still manages a near-50 per cent stake in Gatwick on behalf of investors, said it had launched a £3.5bn bid for Signature in partnership with private equity group Blackstone and Gate's Cascade Investment. GIP had last month agreed to buy Signature for £3.4bn with an offer of 405p a share, having waged a back-and-forth auction with Blackstone, Cascade and Carlyle since mid-December. Package holiday company On the Beach said demand has remained "Very weak" with UK traffic and bookings for the four months to January down 73 per cent and 83 per cent respectively. The retailer, which last year abandoned plans to sell itself after a year-long review, said it had received two separate approaches: from Seth Rodsky's investment vehicle Spotlight Brands in partnership with Gordon Brothers, the restructuring adviser that last year bought the Laura Ashley brand; and from Go Global Retail, a California brand investor, which the company said was working with HMJ International Services.

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