Signature acquisition by Blackstone on the cards

Signature Aviation, the parent company of Signature Flight Support, could soon be sold to private equity firm Blackstone Infrastructure Advisors and Blackstone Core Equity Management Associates for approximately US$4B, according to a statement released today by Signature. 

Blackstone has more than $580B in assets under management.

The bid from Blackstone, equates to a possible cash offer of $5.17 per share. According to a note issued today to its investors in response to recent share increases as word of the offer leaked, Signature stated:

 “Having considered the terms of the Blackstone proposal, the board of Signature has indicated to Blackstone that it would currently be minded to recommend a firm offer for Signature at the price set out in the Blackstone proposal.”

Joe McDermott, Editor of the Global FBO Consult Online News Feed remarked "This is the largest FBO acquisition bid since BBA Aviation Inc., parent company of Signature Flight Support at the time, took control of the rival  US based Landmark Aviation network from The Carlyle Group in 2015 for US$2.065B. That takeover led to Signature divesting of 6 locations in the USA in line with Department of Justice competition requirements, as well as a number of locations being merged. It also led to some staff losses at management levels."

The DoJ stated at the time “The merger would have subjected general aviation customers at six airports to a monopoly or duopoly for critical fueling and support services. Higher prices and lower quality services were the likely result."  The proposed settlement was to ensure that customers at these airports would continue to receive the benefits of vigorous competition.