Following hot on the heels of Vail Resort’s plans to buy Stowe comes another big announcement: Colorado-based Aspen has set its eye on a number of resorts across the United States and Canada.
On Monday, Intrawest Resorts Holdings, a North American mountain resort and adventure company, announced that it was entering into an agreement to be acquired by a newly formed entity controlled by affiliates of the Aspen Skiing Company and KSL Capital Partners.
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.
Intrawest currently owns six mountain resorts, including Stratton in southern Vermont, Mt. Tremblant in Quebec and Blue Mountain in Ontario, Steamboat and Winter Park in Colorado, Snowshoe in West Virginia.
While not a condition to the merger, Squaw Valley Ski Holdings, the parent company of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows resort and an affiliate of KSL, will also become part of the entity at closing, but continue to operate under its current management.
Meanwhile, Aspen Skiing Company owns Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highland, Snowmass and Buttermilk.
The transaction is expected to close by the end of the third quarter of calendar year 2017 and is subject to certain closing conditions including regulatory approvals.
“This transaction creates significant opportunity for Intrawest and delivers tremendous value to our current shareholders,” said Thomas Marano, Intrawest’s chief executive officer in a press release. “The cash consideration of $23.75 per share represents a 40 percent 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. We are excited to work with Aspen and KSL. Our new partners bring additional financial resources and a shared passion for the mountains and our mountain communities. Both Aspen and KSL are committed to helping Intrawest accelerate our plans to bring more value to our guests, more opportunities for our employees and more investment into our local communities.”
“Intrawest is a collection of remarkable properties in exceptional locations. Each has its own unique story and its own unique sense of place,” said Eric Resnick, chief executive officer of KSL. “We are committed to honoring the deep traditions of each resort, while working with Intrawest’s talented management team and employees to continue to serve both their guests and local communities.” “The enthusiasm that Intrawest’s employees exhibit for the guest experience and for being responsible members of their communities is apparent in all they do. We are excited to be part of the investment group that is going to work hard to help realize the collective potential of Intrawest’s portfolio of resorts,” said Mike Kaplan, chief executive officer of Aspen.