Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Vail Resorts Up for Sale?

With the announcement Monday of Adam Aron's departure, talk of an imminent sale of Vail Resorts once again surfaced.

The name of one potential buyer making the rounds was Mike Shannon, a former Vail Associates executive who recently sold his interest in KSL Resorts for a reported $1.6 billion.

Vail Resorts' market capitalization - or total stock value - is about $1.2 billion.

"We don't comment on things like that," Aron said Monday, after a pause. "We never have."

Will Marks, an investment analyst with JMP Securities who follows Vail Resorts, said he had not heard any of the rumors, either.

In the summer of 2004, the Vail Resorts board was rumored to have received competing offers from Texas Pacific Group and Henry Kravis, a principal in New York investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.

Monday, Vail Resorts stock dropped almost 4 percent, to $31.22, with a sales volume of 681,400 - about 163 percent above average. The stock has dropped 19 percent since its peak trading price Dec. 2, 2005 of $38.45.

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