A motion for approval has been filed for Pacific Resorts Group Inc. (PGRI) to enter into a $58 million asset purchase agreement (APA) to acquire Jay Peak Resort, Vt. Jay Peak has 10 days to accept or deny the motion; if accepted, the asset purchase agreement would become the initial bid in a potential auction to purchase the resort.
While Jay Peak would be an exciting acquisition for PGRI, said chief marketing officer Christian Knapp, there is a long process ahead before any deal can be finalized. PGRI chief financial officer Mark Fischer explained, “When a charity auctions off skis, the auctioneer asks who has $500 to start the bidding—that first bid is all we’ve done. Our bid hasn’t even been approved yet.”
Jay Peak has been under court-appointed receivership since 2016. If the judge approves PGRI’s “stalking horse” bid to purchase it, the resort will then go to auction where other qualified bidders can submit a higher bid for approval. The auction period takes 30 days, said Fischer, and “if PGRI’s bid wins out, there is still a complex contract process” to follow.
“All we have done is filed a motion with the judge, and we are now waiting for the judge to approve the bid before it moves to an auction process to determine the winning bidder,” said Fischer. “After the winning bid is accepted, there are a number of closing actions that would need to be completed.”
PRGI owns and operates five North American ski areas: Ragged Mountain, New Hampshire; Wisp, Maryland; Wintergreen, Virginia; Powderhorn, Colorado; and Mount Washington Alpine, British Columbia.
Jay Peak General Manager Steve Wright commented, “This is a step in the process but there are more steps to go that will likely continue to stretch forward into the summer; signing an asset purchase agreement (APA) simply initiates and, in reality, continues, the process. PGR is a world-class operator of resorts and were they to complete that process, both the resort and their organization would be better for the relationship.”
Jay Peak Resort has the largest average annual snowfall of any ski area West of the Rockies, an extensive glade network, and one of only two ski area aerial trams in New England. In recent years Jay Peak has made headlines due to a ponzi-like scam with senior management sent to jail.
The sale will be updated as details emerge.
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