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US giant acquires Perisher ski resort

US ski giant Vail Resorts has announced that it has agreed to acquire its first international mountain resort, Perisher Ski Resort in New South Wales for $176.6 million.

Perisher is the largest ski resort in the Southern Hemisphere. 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.

Vail is purchasing 100 per cent of the stock in the entities that operate Perisher from Murray Publishers P/L and Transfield Corporate P/L in Sydney. Perisher holds a long-term lease and licence with the NSW 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.

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