This morning, news broke that affiliates of Aspen Skiing Company and KSL Capital Partners will acquire North American mountain resort and adventure company, Intrawest.
The deal will transfer ownership of resorts such as Steamboat and Winter Park in Colorado and Stratton in Vermont—worth approximately $1.5 billion, with each share coming in at $23.75 cash. Other resorts included in the deal are Mont Tremblant in Quebec, Snowshoe in West Virginia and Blue Mountain in Ontario. Canadian Mountain Holidays, the largest heliskiing operation on Earth, will be acquired by the Aspen Skiing Co. and KSL, too.
“This transaction creates significant opportunity for Intrawest and delivers tremendous value to our current shareholders,” said Intrawest’s CEO Thomas Marano in a recent press release. “The cash consideration of $23.75 per share represents a 40% premium over $16.97 per share, Intrawest’s closing stock price on January 12, 2017, the trading day prior to Reuters’ report speculating that the Company was exploring a potential sale.”
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is currently owned by KSL, and will be lumped into the new Aspen Skiing Co./KSL Capital Partners entity with the other involved resorts. However, management will remain the same at the California ski resort combo.
The aforementioned press release also explains that, “For the full 2017-18 winter season, each Intrawest resort will continue to honor the resort’s existing pass products that are currently on sale, including the Rocky Mountain Super Pass + and the M.A.X. Pass.”
Take a bird’s eye view of this deal and you’ll find that a battle might be brewing in the world of ski area operators. In one corner of the ring, Vail Resorts has been making serious moves, recently acquiring powerhouses such as Whistler Blackcomb and Stowe. In the other corner, Aspen Skiing Co. and KSL are moving themselves to the forefront of the conversation, proving that Vail won’t have control over everything, at least not right now. Additionally, the fact that both of these teams are based in Colorado means the Centennial State has essentially become ground zero in the sphere of ski resort acquisition.
Though nothing is entirely final, the deal is being referred to as “a definitive agreement” and Intrawest’s board of directors has unanimously agreed to move forward with Aspen Skiing Co. and KSL. The acquisition is set to be finalized in the third quarter of 2017.
Featured image courtesy of Stratton Resort’s Instagram page.