The Canadian Competition Bureau has cleared the way for "a strategic combination" between two industry giants, Vail Resorts and Whistler Blackcomb.
On Friday, Sept. 23, Whistler Blackcomb announced that Canada's anti-trust agency has issued a no-action letter indicating it does not intend to challenge Vail Resorts' proposed friendly takeover of North America's largest ski resort.
The deal is still subject to approval by Whistler Blackcomb shareholders, who will vote on the arrangement Oct. 3, and the Supreme Court of British Columbia. The transaction is expected to close this fall.
The proposed $1.4-billion deal was first announced Aug. 8. Under the terms of the agreement, Vail Resorts would acquire 100 per cent of WB's stock. The American company, which owns and operates 13 other resorts in the U.S. and Australia, has committed to retaining the "vast majority" of WB employees and investing in the ski resort's growth and infrastructure, including its previously announced $345-million long-term expansion plan, Renaissance.
"The strategic combination joining Whistler Blackcomb with Vail Resorts has been unanimously approved by the Whistler Blackcomb board of directors on the basis of, among other things, the significant value and future upside it provides for Whistler Blackcomb shareholders, as well as other benefits to Whistler Blackcomb, its neighboring communities and other stakeholders," read a Whistler Blackcomb release.