KSL Corp has another bite at Great Wolf

City A.M. Reporter
PRIVATE equity firm KSL Corp has raised its bid for Great Wolf Resorts by 12 per cent to $234m (£147m) as it works to top rival buyout group Apollo Global Management in their battle to acquire North America’s largest operator of indoor water parks.

Great Wolf said it had received an unsolicited letter from KSL proposing to buy the company for $7 a share in cash. That bid came in reaction to the company’s latest agreement to sell itself to Apollo for $6.75 a share, or $225.7m.

Apollo originally struck a deal in March to buy Great Wolf for $5 a share, or around $165m. But KSL made an unsolicited bid of $6.25 a share for the water park company last week, prompting larger rival Apollo to strike a new, 35 per cent higher deal on Friday.

Great Wolf’s popularity as a holiday destination has shielded it from slow economic growth, making it a hot property in the eyes of buyout firms looking for assets with strong cash flows.

In 2011, its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation close to doubled to $83m. As part of its arrangement with Apollo, Great Wolf could have to pay up to $9m for a breakup fee and expenses should it walk away from the deal.