Vail Resorts (VR) has entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire 100 percent of the outstanding stock of Peak Resorts, at a purchase price of $11.00 per share, or an estimated aggregate purchase price of approximately $264 million, subject to certain conditions, including regulatory review and Peak Resorts’ shareholder approval. The transaction is expected to close this fall.
Through the acquisition, Vail Resorts will add 17 U.S. ski areas to its portfolio, most located near major metropolitan areas including New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Columbus, St. Louis, Kansas City and Louisville. Upon closing, Vail Resorts will own or operate 37 ski areas worldwide.
“Peak Resorts’ ski areas in the Northeast are a perfect complement to our existing resorts and together will provide a very compelling offering to our guests in New York and Boston,” said Vail Resorts CEO Rob Katz. “With this acquisition, we are also able to make a much stronger connection to guests in critical cities in the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest and build on the success we have already seen with our strategy in Chicago, Minneapolis, and Detroit.”
“Vail Resorts has a proven track record of celebrating the unique identity of its resorts, while continually investing in the guest and employee experience. For this reason, we are confident that our resorts and employees will continue to thrive within the Vail Resorts network,” said Peak Resorts president and CEO Timothy Boyd. “We are very proud of our track record over the last two decades in building the breadth, quality, and accessibility of our resorts. We are thrilled that our guests will now have access to some of the world’s most renowned resorts.”
Vail Resorts plans to finance the acquisition through a combination of cash on hand, its existing revolver facility and an expansion of its existing credit facility. VR will also be assuming or refinancing Peak Resorts’ outstanding debt, which, as of its Q4 report released June 27, was at $229.8 million. After closing, VR plans to invest approximately $15 million over the next two years in one-time capital spending at the newly-acquired properties.
In its news release announcing the acquisition, VR said: “Synergies are expected to come from additional revenue across the Vail Resorts network of resorts and cost reductions from the elimination of certain duplicative administrative functions and greater efficiencies brought by Vail Resorts’ size and scale.” VR also plans to retain the vast majority of each resort’s employees.
When the transaction closes, the 2019-20 Epic Pass, Epic Local Pass and Military Epic Pass will include unlimited and unrestricted access to the 17 Peak Resorts ski areas. Guests with an Epic Day Pass will also be able to access the Peak Resorts ski areas as a part of the total number of days purchased.
For the 2019-20 season, Vail Resorts will honor and continue to sell all Peak Resorts pass products, and Peak Resorts’ pass holders will have the option to upgrade to an Epic Pass or Epic Local Pass, following closing of the transaction.
Peak Resorts’ properties include:
• Mount Snow in Vermont
• Hunter Mountain in New York
• Attitash Mountain Resort, Wildcat Mountain, and Crotched Mountain in New Hampshire
• Liberty Mountain Resort, Roundtop Mountain Resort, Whitetail Resort, Jack Frost, and Big Boulder in Pennsylvania
• Alpine Valley, Boston Mills, Brandywine, and Mad River Mountain in Ohio
• Hidden Valley and Snow Creek in Missouri
• Paoli Peaks in Indiana
Source: SAM Magazine