Bidding War Heats Up for Great Wolf Resorts
Private equity firm Apollo Global Management raised its bid for Great Wolf Resorts (NASDAQ: WOLF) again on Friday morning, raising the stakes in a bidding war with rival firm KSL Capital Partners. Apollo said that it would pay $7.85 per share for the water park operator, which values WOLF's equity at $262.2 million. The revised offer comes a day after KSL made a $7.25 per share offer for the company.
The bidding war between the two firms has been going on since March, and has substantially benefited WOLF shareholders. Initially, Apollo offered to buy the company for $5.00 per share. Subsequently, this offer was raised to $6.75 per share after KSL approached WOLF with a $6.25 per share offer of its own in early April. KSL then raised its bid to $7.00, which was quickly matched by Apollo.
It appears that the deal could go to Apollo with its latest $7.85 per share takeout offer. WOLF's board of directors has unanimously approved the deal and is recommending that shareholders tender their shares in Apollo's revised tender offer.
The market, however, is pricing in a premium to the latest deal price from Apollo, with WOLF shares rising 7.95% to $8.01 on Friday. Overall, WOLF shares have risen more than 150% in the last 3 months and more than 250% over the last 6 months, with a good chunk of the gains coming as a result of the bidding war between Apollo and KSL. Madison, WI based Great Wolf operates 11 indoor water parks in the U.S. and Canada.
The company has parks in Wisconsin Dells, Wis.; Sandusky, Ohio; Traverse City, Mich.; Kansas City, Kan.; Williamsburg, Va.; the Pocono Mountains, Pa.; Mason, Ohio; Grapevine, Texas; Grand Mound, Wash.; and Concord, N.C. It also has a lodge in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
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