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Then Carlyle Group Inc., which had been considering a counter bid, announced last week that it won’t make an offer, opting instead to acquire a unit of Signature. (Bloomberg)
Then Carlyle Group Inc., which had been considering a counter bid, announced last week that it won’t make an offer, opting instead to acquire a unit of Signature. (Bloomberg)

Billionaire Nassef Sawiris said to back $4.7 billion Signature Aviation takeover

NNS, the investment vehicle of Egyptian billionaire Nassef Sawiris, is set to sell its 7.42% stake in Signature Aviation to a bidding consortium led by Blackstone and Global Infrastructure Partners

Egyptian billionaire Nassef Sawiris plans to accept a sweetened $4.7 billion takeover offer for private-jet company Signature Aviation Plc, according to people familiar with the discussions.

NNS, the investment vehicle of Sawiris, is set to sell its 7.42% stake to a bidding consortium led by Blackstone Group Inc. and Global Infrastructure Partners, said the people, asking not to be identified because discussions are private. Sawiris, the third-biggest shareholder in Signature Aviation, could announce his backing this coming week, they said.

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The move would help end a months-long takeover battle for the world’s biggest operator of private-jet bases. Rival bidders GIP and Blackstone earlier this month teamed up and increased their takeover bid to $5.62-per-share. That bump won the backing of Signature’s management.

Then Carlyle Group Inc., which had been considering a counter bid, announced last week that it won’t make an offer, opting instead to acquire a unit of Signature. With the nod from Sawiris, the latest GIP and Blackstone bid, which has the backing of billionaire Bill Gates, the largest shareholder, is likely to succeed.

Representatives for Signature, NNS and Blackstone declined to comment.

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