A private equity firm specializing in travel and leisure enterprises has acquired 24 per cent of shares in Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc.
KSL Capital Partners announced Monday evening (Dec. 3) it has entered into a purchase agreement with Intrawest to acquire its 9,092,500 common shares at a price of $12.75 per share.
In a press release it indicated Intrawest's sale of the shares is "being made in conjunction with an Intrawest refinancing."
The transaction has resulted in changes to the company's management and board of directors. Bill Jensen has tendered his resignation as a director and CEO and both Wes Edens and Jonathan Ashley have tendered their resignations as directors.
The board of directors has appointed WB's current President and Chief Operating Officer Dave Brownlie as president and CEO as well as a director. Eric Resnick and Peter McDermott with KSL have been appointed as directors to fill the vacancies created by the resignations.
"KSL is delighted to be acquiring a 24 per cent interest in a world-class ski area," said Resnick, who is co-founder and managing director of KSL. "Whistler Blackcomb is the largest and most visited ski resort in North America and we feel that it complements our portfolio of premier travel and leisure properties.
"Peter (McDermott) and I are looking forward to working with the board to grow the business. Whistler Blackcomb has a very experienced and successful management team and we are enthusiastic to work with them as they continue to deliver a fantastic mountain experience for Whistler Blackcomb's guests."
The board of directors has also appointed Flora Ferraro, the current vice president of finance for Whistler Blackcomb, as interim Chief Financial Officer. An announcement of a permanent financial officer is expected soon.
"On behalf of the board of directors, I am very pleased to welcome Eric Resnick and Peter McDermott to the board," said chairman of the board Graham Savage. "We would also like to express our appreciation to Wes Edens and Jonathan Ashley for their contributions to Whistler Blackcomb during their tenure on the board, and especially to Bill Jensen, for his valued service as Chief Executive Officer and as a director.
"We are also pleased to appoint Dave Brownlie as Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the board of directors. With over 24 years in ski resort management, Dave brings insight and experience to the position and I am looking forward to continuing to work with him to grow the business."
With offices in Denver, Colorado and New York, KSL's current portfolio includes The Belfry, The Grove Park Inn, The Homestead, Montelucia Resort & Spa, Barton Creek Resort & Spa, Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, The James Royal Palm, La Costa Resort and Spa, and ClubCorp. KSL also owns other recreation businesses, including Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows.