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US company snaps up Australian ski resorts

US company snaps up Australian ski resorts

Hotham Resort

DLA Piper has advised the owner of Hotham and Falls Creek ski resorts, Merlin Entertainment, on their sale to a US ski resort operator.

Firm: DLA Piper (Merlin Entertainments)

Deal: DLA Piper has advised Merlin Entertainment on its sale of Hotham and Falls Creek to US-based Vail Resorts, Inc.

Value: $174 million

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Area: Tourism, M&A

Key players: DLA Piper used a cross-border team involving lawyers from Leeds, Melbourne, Chicago and Los Angeles. Leeds-based corporate partner Stephen Atkinson led the deal, with senior associate Amar Maan and associate James Croft.

The Australian team was led by corporate partner Gerry Bean with partners James Newnham, Simon Uthmeyer, Arthur Ching, and solicitors Kathryn Randle, Akshay Rao, and Elixabeth Cole.

Partners Rob Salter and Rob Davis with counsel Rishi Sodhi also played a part.

Deal significance: Falls Creek is Victoria’s largest ski resort and features a varied terrain from beginners to intermediate, while Hotham is the only resort in the Southern Hemisphere where the village is located on top of the mountain, enabling ski-in ski-out opportunities, DLA Piper noted.

US ski resort operator Vail Resorts, Inc. has purchased the Australian ski resorts, with the acquisition including the ski school, retail and rental, reservation and property management operations at both resort areas, the firm said.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval, and is expected to close by June 2019.

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