KSL Capital (Owners of Squaw/Alpine) Buys 24% Of Whistler Blackcomb


KSL Capital Partners just announced that it has entered into a purchase agreement with Intrawest to acquire 24% of shares in Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. for $115,929,375 smackers. As a result of the sale Whistler Blackcomb Holdings CEO, Bill Jensen, has tendered his resignation as well as directors Wes Edens and Jonathan Ashley.

Here is the official press release: 

WHISTLER, BC, Dec. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. (TSX: WB) (the “Corporation”) and KSL Capital Partners, LLC (“KSL”) are pleased to announce that an affiliate of KSL has entered into a purchase agreement with Intrawest ULC (“Intrawest”) to acquire Intrawest’s 9,092,500 common shares of the Corporation, representing approximately 24% of the Corporation’s issued and outstanding common shares, for $12.75 per common share.  The Corporation understands that the Intrawest disposition is being made in conjunction with an Intrawest refinancing.  The transaction is expected to be completed tomorrow.  KSL is a U.S. private equity firm dedicated to investments in travel and leisure businesses.

As a result of the sale by Intrawest, Bill Jensen has tendered his resignation as a director and Chief Executive Officer and each of Wes Edens and Jonathan Ashley has tendered his resignation as a director of the Corporation, effective as of the time of closing.  Also effective as of the time of closing, the Corporation’s board of directors has appointed Dave Brownlie, the Corporation’s current President and Chief Operating Officer, as the Corporation’s President and Chief Executive Officer and a director, and appointed Eric Resnick and Peter McDermott, both of KSL, as directors to fill the vacancies created by these resignations. Mr. Resnick is co-founder and Managing Director of KSL and has deep, long-standing ties to the ski industry.  Mr. McDermott is a partner at KSL.

Concurrently with these appointments, the Corporation’s board of directors has appointed Flora Ferraro, the Corporation’s current Vice President of Finance, as Interim Chief Financial Officer.  The Corporation intends to announce the appointment of a permanent chief financial officer shortly.

“KSL is delighted to be acquiring a 24% interest in a world-class ski area. 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 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” commented Mr. Resnick.

“On behalf of the board of directors, I am very pleased to welcome Eric Resnick and Peter McDermott to the board.  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” commented Graham Savage, Chairman of the Corporation’s board of directors. “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.”


KSL expects to hold the purchased shares for investment purposes. However, KSL and its affiliates expect to evaluate on an ongoing basis the Corporation’s financial condition and prospects and its interest in, and intentions with respect to, the Corporation and KSL’s investment. KSL and its affiliates may from time to time acquire additional common shares of the Corporation or may dispose of all or a part of their shares.

In connection with KSL’s acquisition of Intrawest’s common shares, KSL will assume Intrawest’s rights and obligations under a registration rights agreement which will provide KSL the right to require the Corporation to qualify by prospectus all or a portion of its shares for distribution to the public in Canada, subject to certain conditions. The registration rights agreement is more fully described in the Corporation’s final prospectus dated November 2, 2010 and a copy is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com under the Corporation’s profile.

KSL’s acquisition of common shares of the Corporation from Intrawest will be made in reliance on the take-over bid exemption contained in subsection 100.1(1) of the Securities Act (Ontario), its corollary provision in Multilateral Instrument 62-104 Take-Over Bids and Issuer Bids and section 2.3 of National Instrument 45-106 Prospectus and Registration Exemptions.

A report regarding KSL’s holding in the Corporation will be filed on SEDAR and will be available under the Corporation’s profile at www.sedar.com or by request in writing to KSL Capital Partners, LLC 100 Fillmore Street, Suite 600 Denver, CO 80206.


Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. owns a 75% interest in each of Whistler Mountain Resort Limited Partnership and Blackcomb Skiing Enterprises Limited Partnership, which, together, carry on the four season mountain resort business located in the Resort Municipality of Whistler, British Columbia.  Whistler Blackcomb, the official alpine skiing venue for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, is situated in the Resort Municipality of Whistler located in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia 125 kilometres (78 miles) from Vancouver, British Columbia. North America’s premier four-season mountain resort, Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain are two side-by-side mountains, connected by the world record-breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, which combined offer over 200 marked runs, over 8,000 acres of terrain, 14 alpine bowls, three glaciers, receive on average over 1,192 centimetres (469 inches) of snow annually, and offer one of the longest ski seasons in North America. In the summer, Whistler Blackcomb offers a variety of activities, including hiking and biking trails, the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, and sightseeing on the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola. Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “WB”.  For more information, visit www.whistlerblackcombholdings.com. Additional information related to the Corporation is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.


KSL is a private equity firm specializing in travel and leisure enterprises in five primary sectors: hospitality, recreation, clubs, real estate and travel services. KSL has offices in Denver, Colorado and New York. KSL’s current portfolio includes some of the premier properties in travel and leisure, including 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, one of the world’s largest owners of private golf and business clubs. KSL also owns other premier recreation businesses, including Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, two of the leading ski resorts in North America; and Western Athletic Clubs, the owner and operator of luxury fitness clubs in California.

For more information on KSL, please visit www.kslcapital.com.

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  • H Man

    I guess I’m one of those gapers you super-cool locals bitch about. Whatever gaper means. Twenty years ago Squaw Season passes were over $1k. Now you can get one for $440, and get Alpine too. You name one other thing in the WORLD that beats the shit out of inflation like that. One round of golf at Pebble Beach costs more than my entire season of skiing two world-class resorts. The lifts are faster and more reliable than ever before. I almost never wait in line for more than 5 minutes. You locals will always beat me to the fresh tracks; I can’t believe how fast sh&* gets skied out. So f#$k off and quit your bitching. This winter is looking epic.

  • pj

    For all the noise people have been making,the mountain itself looks the same minus a few chairs we didn’t need.I usually dont look at the base area while skiing,by the way really good snow the past few days.Squaw has been getting their terrain open quickly and things are great at my HOME mountain.KSL cant change the topography at squaw and i will love it to the day i die.We all moved here because of the hill,not the base.Let the tourists enjoy it while we shred.

  • Miles Clark

    News flash! I brought you the news first about the Alpine Squaw merger, now this!

    Hold on to your seats. I just got done blowing Andy and after he nutted to gave up a little secret, actually a big secret. KSL is building a five star ski in/out hotel right on top of the powderhorn. Andy also told me, after I let him toss my salad. That he wants to rekindle Alex’s dream of having a second gondola and mountain lodge right next to Shirley Lake. He is going to make this place rock. Now if I could only figure out how he will let me have Sylvester privileges I’d let him finger my prostate.

    • Rail Tycoon

      you know….. when Miles posts, the name is blue.
      I.E. your not fooling anyone and making your self look like an ass at the same time. Nice little talent you got there

  • Maxknight

    At the end of the day, KSL will not be moving any mountains, they won’t replace the fingers with a hotel. The truth is, most of you people bitching now, just want to bitch. You bitched when passes were too expensive, you bitched when they got to cheap, you bitched when Alex did too little, you bitch when Andy does too much. I hear you all day bitching on the chair, on UN, in the bar, but you dumb lemmings keep giving your money to KSL….. Hypocrites

      • David Saputo

        Yet they can’t seem to even get a decent run open with good snow up top…I was willing to give KSL a shot but all they do is fuck us over….I don’t sit here bitching ALL day..I actually ski everyday and am feed up with KSL and the corporate bullshit…Last year I will ski Squaw…I was hoping things would be different, I guess I was wrong…I will be in Taos next year…

      • BoGnar

        Your a dipshit Dave. KSL can only work with what they are given for snow. I feel they are doing a great job with squaw. The new lifts are in great positions, the groomed runs looked excellent for what snow has fallen, they are getting lifts spinning as they can safely.
        Don’t bitch about how things are being run if you have no means or ability to do any better.

  • Maxknight

    If you guys hate KSL so much, why don’t you boycott their mountains?! Stop bitching and go skin your hippie asses up the hill

  • Will

    I’m not from Whistler or Squaw but I don’t understand why everyone is bitching… you should be rejoycing since your Squaw passes will most likely get you free/discounted lift tickets at Whistler now… and it’s not like they bought up some little mom and pop resort to commercialize it

    • Robot

      Monopolization of anything will in turn destroy the mom and pop. There is no rejoicing in loss of identity, and morals, only to see more real estate developed
      at the cost of literally everything.

    • Will is an Idiot

      With over 60,000 passes estimated, being oversold for Squaw and Alpine alone at say an average of $400 dollars per, that’s $24 million in revenue for KSL without any regard to the on mountain experience of hosting that many people with limited terrain, especially on storm days when squaw can only open lower mountain lifts. This does not even consider traffic congestion on limited roads and parking.

      How can that be good for anybody trying to enjoy skiing without standing in lift lines for ridiculous amounts of time and experiencing overcrowded slopes?

      Please explain,,,,,

    • John

      We may get free passes at Whistler (which we hardly every ski at), but the days of reasonably priced good food and free parking will end. We will end up incurring far more costs when you total everything together.

  • somuchbetterthanyou

    I wonder if this has anything to do with the rummors about Squaw wanting to host the winter Olympics in the upcoming years

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