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Alpine Valley, Boston Mills, Brandywine sold to Vail Resorts as part of $264M deal

Vail Resorts plans to retain "the vast majority" of each resort's employees, the company said.

Peak Resorts Inc., the ski resort company that owns 17 U.S. resorts and facilities, including Alpine Valley, Boston Mills, and Brandywine in Northeast Ohio, has agreed to be acquired by Vail Resorts Inc. for about $264 million in cash.

The deal calls for Broomfield, Colorado-based Vail to acquire all of the outstanding stock of Peak Resorts for $11 per share, a 116% premium to Peak’s closing price Friday. Vail plans to finance the deal through cash on hand along with existing and expanded credit facilities. The acquisition is subject to approval by regulators and Peak shareholders; the boards of both companies already have approved the deal.

"We are incredibly excited to have the opportunity to add such a powerful network of ski areas to our Company," said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts in a statement. "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. 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. The acquisition fully embodies our philosophy of Epic for Everyone, making skiing and riding more accessible to guests across the U.S. and around the world."

The acquisition is expected to close this fall and generate incremental annual EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of about $60 million in Vail's fiscal year ending July 31, 2021, officials said in a release Monday. Synergies are expected to come from added revenue across the resorts and cost reductions from eliminating certain duplicate administrative functions and efficiencies from Vail Resorts' size and scale, officials said. Vail plans to retain "the vast majority" of each resort's employees, the company said.

Vail said that with the transaction, it expects capital expenditures to increase by $10 million annually to support the addition of Peak Resorts' ski areas, and that it plans one-time spending of $15 million over the next two years to "elevate the guest experience" at Peak's properties.

Peak Resorts (Nasdaq: SKIS) operates 17 ski resorts, 16 of which are company-owned, including Hidden Valley in Wildwood. The company's resorts are primarily located in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest. In addition to skiing, its resorts also offer snowboarding, terrain parks, tubing, dining and lodging, among other services.

“For over 22 years, our team has worked tirelessly to create what is one of the country’s premier ski resort companies," Timothy Boyd, president and CEO of Peak Resorts, said in a statement. "We are now delighted to announce this agreement with Vail Resorts that creates substantial value for our shareholders and new opportunities for our guests."

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