Whistler Blackcomb, the largest ski resort in all of North America, has been sold to American company Vail Resorts Inc.
While the takeover seems friendly, it now leaves Vail Resorts – a Colorado-based company – with 100 percent of Whistler Blackcomb’s stock. A fact that is sure to leave every proud Canadian at least slightly skeptical.
Though, in an official press release, Vail Resorts has stated that “Whistler Blackcomb will maintain its unique brand and character with strong local Canadian leadership.”
The takeover ensured that Whistler Blackcomb shareholders would receive $17.50* per share in cash and 0.0975 shares of Vail Resorts common stock, leaving the total combined value of a share at $36.00 per share. When the stock market closed on Friday, Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. was trading at $25.14.
The deal then, is worth just shy of $1.4 billion ($676 million cash, $715 million of Vail stock).
Dave Brownlie, Whistler Blackcomb’s CEO had this to say about the merger:
Combining Whistler Blackcomb with Vail Resorts’ portfolio of outstanding resorts provides Whistler Blackcomb with increased financial strength, marketing exposure, guest relationships and broadens the geographic diversity of our company with resorts across the United States, as well as in Australia andCanada. This relationship will bring greater resources to support our current operations and our ambitious growth plans, including the Renaissance project, the most exciting and transformative investment in Whistler Blackcomb’s history.
Here’s to hoping you’re right, Dave.
Otherwise we’re definitely not sharing a chairlift with you anytime soon.
From 2003 to 2012, Whistler Blackcomb was owned by resort development firm Intrawest, a British Columbia company that was purchased by an American equity investment company in 2006. Its headquarters was relocated to Colorado.
*All money given in this article is in Canadian dollars