Intrawest Reviewing Stragetic Options, Including Possible Sale
SAM Magazine-Vancouver, B.C., Feb. 28, 2006-Intrawest has initiated a review of strategic options for enhancing shareholder value, including, but not limited to, a capital structure review, strategic partnerships or business combinations. The company has retained Goldman, Sachs & Co. to assist in the review, which is already underway. No timetable has been set for its completion.
"During the past 24 months, Intrawest has made significant progress in broadening its range of leisure businesses, most notably with the acquisition and expansion of Abercrombie & Kent, as well as extending our business reach into Europe and Asia," said Joe Houssian, Intrawest's chairman, president and CEO. "We have . . . made great strides in building a centralized marketing and sales capability to enable us to migrate our customers across a growing array of travel experiences. We now have a unique opportunity to . . . deliver significant shareholder value over the long term."
Writing for MarketWatch, William Spain observed that Intrawest's language is "long form for a possible sale of all or part of the company." Spain write that, in a note to investors, Chris Woronka of Deutsche Banc said the move "was strongly encouraged by activist shareholders who have identified underlying value." He added, "It likely also reflects management's dissatisfaction with the Street's valuation of the company, although we note that shares are [up] 50 percent over the past year despite a challenging operating environment for many of [its] ski resorts and the fact that it operates in a mature, capital intensive industry."
News of the review drove Intrawest shares to nearly $34 in trading today, a 52-week high, before settling just under $32.