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March 14, 2018

Boyne Resorts acquires Sugarloaf, Sunday River ski resorts

Courtesy / Sugarloaf
Courtesy / Sugarloaf
Sugarloaf in Carrabassett Valley is one of two Maine ski resorts being purchased by Boyne Resorts in a deal that is expected to close later this year. The other Maine resort is Sunday River in Newry.

About Boyne Resorts

Boyne Resorts, which is based in Boyne Falls, Mich., is the third largest mountain resort company in North America, with 11 resorts and attractions. Founded in 1947, it has maintained a heritage of innovation, highlighted by its recent unveiling of plans to install an eight-seat, high-speed chairlift at its Big Sky Resort in Montana — the first in North America. It also has developed patented and proprietary snowmaking systems, installed the world's first triple and quad chairlifts as well as America's first high-speed six-place chairlifts and was the first company to transform ski resorts into four-season operations.

About Oz Real Estate

Oz Real Estate, the real estate platform at Oz Management, was founded by Steven E. Orbuch in 2003 to make investments in real estate and real estate related assets across North America and Europe. The principals of Oz Real Estate have invested in over $9.0 billion of private real estate assets, including direct equity investments, preferred equity structures, mezzanine financing, and senior loans. Oz Real Estate's portfolio has included over 20,000 hotel rooms, over 30,000 multifamily and residential units, and over 20 million square feet of retail and office properties.

In addition, Oz Real Estate has developed expertise in various niche real estate asset classes, including gaming, health care, senior housing, cellular towers, ski resorts, and land development.

In a deal that's expected to close later this year, Boyne Resorts announced Tuesday that it has reached an agreement to buy the Sugarloaf and Sunday River ski resorts from Resort Holdings LLC, an affiliate of Oz Real Estate.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but Boyne Resorts CEO said outright ownership will give the company greater latitude to invest in the resorts than it had as an operator managing the resorts for an investment group.

In addition to the two Maine resorts, Boyne plans to purchase four other mountain resorts and a scenic chairlift attraction it currently leases. As operator of the mountain resorts it's acquiring and owner of additional resorts, Boyne has a 70-year history in the skiing industry and is the third largest mountain resort company in North America.

Included in the transaction are:

  • Brighton Resort in Big Cottonwood Canyon near Salt Lake City, Utah;
  • Cypress Mountain in Vancouver, B.C.
  • Gatlinburg Sky Lift in Gatlinburg, Tenn.
  • Loon Mountain in New Hampshire.
  • The Summit at Snoqualmie near Seattle, Wash.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals.

"Our intention all along has been to regain and acquire ownership of these resorts," Stephen Kircher, president and CEO of Boyne Resorts, said in a news release announcing the acquisitions. "We are pleased to see this come to fruition and also really proud of our long-term achievements and diligence that primed us for this acquisition."

Kircher said Boyne Resorts has been a long-term operator of the resorts being acquired, some for decades.

"This transaction therefore poses no business interruption or integration risk," he said. "This opportunity now at hand will enable us to accelerate and fine-tune the execution of our reinvestment plans for these spectacular properties, which will boost our competitive advantages and support our focus on continuous enhancement of the guest experience."

Steven E. Orbuch, founder and president of Oz Real Estate, characterized Boyne Resorts as "a world-class owner and operator of ski resorts and attractions."

"We have enjoyed our association with them during our ownership of these properties and wish them continued success in the future," he said. "We look forward to the consummation of this mutually beneficial transaction as it allows for Boyne Resorts to again fully control these resorts while resulting in a positive outcome for our investors."

Oz Real Estate is part of Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC, the New York-based private equity firm.

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