Perisher - EDITED

Vail Resorts has just announced that the Company has agreed to acquire its first international mountain resort, Perisher Ski Resort in New South Wales, Australia, for total cash consideration of AUD$176.6 million, subject to certain adjustments.

Perisher is the largest and most visited ski resort in Australia and is well-positioned with access to major capital cities.

The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015 following the satisfaction of certain conditions, including approval by the New South Wales Government under the long-term lease and licence noted below.

The Company is purchasing 100 percent of the stock in the entities that operate Perisher from Murray Publishers Pty Ltd and Transfield Corporate Pty Ltd in Sydney.

Perisher holds a long-term lease and licence with the New South Wales Government under the National Parks and Wildlife Act, which expires in 2048 with a 20-year renewal option.

The acquisition includes the resort areas known as Perisher Valley, Smiggin Holes, Blue Cow and Guthega, along with ski school, lodging, food and beverage, retail/rental and transportation operations, which together comprise Perisher.

“The acquisition of our first international mountain resort is a significant milestone for our Company. We’re thrilled to welcome the guests and employees of Perisher, Australia’s largest and most iconic resort, into the Vail Resorts family and deepen ties with one of our most important international markets,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts.

“This acquisition is part of Vail Resorts’ continued strategy to drive season pass sales and build loyalty with guests from around the world.

“Australia is one of the most important international markets for ski resorts across the Northern Hemisphere, generating an estimated over 1 million skier visits annually to resorts in North America, Japan and Europe.

“We see this as a ground-breaking acquisition that will dramatically enhance the connection between our Company and Australian skiers and riders. We also see the acquisition as a natural fit, as Perisher is the Australian leader in innovation and guest experience – both hallmarks of Vail Resorts,” he said.

Vail Resorts also announced that as of today, Perisher is re-opening season pass sales for its upcoming ski season, which is set to open on 6th June, 2015. Perisher’s popular “Freedom Pass” is on sale now for AU$749 and will include Epic Benefits; unlimited skiing at Breckenridge, Keystone and Arapahoe Basin in Colorado, Park City and Canyons in Utah and Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada. It will also include 10 free days of skiing and riding at Vail and Beaver Creek in Colorado.

The Company indicated that it expects Perisher to generate incremental Resort Reported EBITDA of approximately AUD$20 million during its first 12 months of operation following the acquisition. The Company expects Perisher to generate positive Resort Reported EBITDA of approximately AUD$38 million during its ski season, June through September, and negative Resort Reported EBITDA of approximately AUD$18 million during its off-season, October through May.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management