Vail Resorts and WB deal gets Investment Canada Act approval 

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF WHISTLER BLACKCOMB - Expecting another busy winter
  • photo courtesy of Whistler Blackcomb
  • Expecting another busy winter

Vail Resorts and Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. (WB) have received Investment Canada Act approval for a deal which will see the U.S. company buy WB for $1.4 billion.

This was the latest hurdle that needed to be cleared in order for the merger of the two ski giants to take place.

The proposed combination remains subject to certain closing conditions, including approval by Whistler Blackcomb shareholders and the Supreme Court of British Columbia. If these approvals go smoothly, the deal should close on Oct. 17.

Under the terms of the transaction, Vail Resorts will acquire 100 per cent of the stock of Whistler Blackcomb, whose shareholders will receive C$17.50 per share in cash and 0.0998 shares of Vail Resorts common stock for each Whistler Blackcomb share held.

On Sept. 23, the Canadian Competition Bureau issued a no-action letter under the Competition Act.

The proposed deal was first announced Aug. 8. Vail Resorts, 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.

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