Monday, August 14, 2006

Intrawest Sale: Good or Bad for Second Homes?

Do you own any property at an Intrawest resort? Should you be concerned that a private equity firm, Fortress Investment, is in the process of acquiring the currently-public company? I think it's too early to judge. IDR was up for sale for months. But JMP Security's respected analyst Will Marks has downgraded his firm's rating of the stock from "strong buy" to "market perform." The resort giant has a piece of 10 mountain resorts including Whistler in British Columbia (an upcoming Olympic venue), Tremblant in Quebec, Copper Mountain and Winter Park in Colorado and Stratton in Vermont. It's building the new Snowmass Village near Aspen and has real estate projects in Las Vegas and Orlando.

The announced sale is a victory for a leading activist shareholder, Pirate Capital, which got its wish for a spike in the stock price. Fortress has valued its offer at $35 a share, a 32 percent premium over the recent stock price.

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