Earlier this week, Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. announced that KSL Capital Partners, LLC has purchased the shares owned by Intrawest ULC. The transaction includes 9,092,500 common shares of Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc., at $12.75 per share. The private equity firm, which has long been dedicated to investments in travel and leisure businesses controls 24% of the corporation, which a substantial stake in the popular British Columbian ski destination.
“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.
With the transaction officially clearing on Tuesday, December 4th, a number of changes to the corporations Board of Directors were initiated. Chief Executive Officer Bill Jensen submitted his letter of resignation, along with Directors Wes Edens and Jonathan Ashley. Dave Brownlie, the Corporation’s current President and Chief Operating Officer will now become the Corporation’s President and Chief Executive Officer and a director. The board is currently seeking a chief financial officer, but has chosen Flora Ferraro, the Corporation’s current Vice President of Finance, to fulfill the role in the interim.
To fill the vacancies, new appointments include KSL members Eric Resnick and Peter McDermott. Eric Resnick is the Managing Director and co-founder of KSL Capital Partners. He is well known for his passion and long-standing ties to the ski industry.
“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.”
While this announcement led to a number of transitions within the board and upper management, things at the resort-level should remain relatively unchanged. Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. will still retain its 75% interest in each Whistler Mountain Resort Limited Partnership and Blackcomb Skiing Enterprises Limited Partnership.