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Starwood sells Mammoth stake to KSL JV

The partnership also purchased a company that owns a minority interest in the mountain resort operator for $1.5bn earlier this month.

Starwood Capital Group has sold a controlling stake in California mountain resort operator Mammoth Resorts to a joint venture comprising Denver-based KSL Capital Partners and Aspen Skiing Company, the firms said last week.

The price of the transaction was not disclosed, and the groups could not be reached for comment. KSL and ski resort operator Aspen also teamed up earlier this month to buy Vancouver-based hospitality company Intrawest Resorts Holdings, which owned a minority stake in Mammoth, for about $1.5 billion. Both transactions are expected to close in the third quarter.

Both Intrawest and the stake in Mammoth will be folded into an unnamed, newly-formed entity controlled by Aspen and KSL.

Greenwich, Connecticut-based Starwood bought a 70 percent stake in Mammoth in 2005 for $385 million, according to media reports at the time. Capital for the purchase came from Starwood Global Opportunity Fund VII, which closed in December 2005 on $1.5 billion, according to the firm’s website.

At the time of the 2005 sale, Intrawest and Mammoth chief executive Rusty Gregory each owned 15 percent of Mammoth. In 2014, Mammoth acquired and integrated two neighboring California ski resorts, Bear Mountain and Snow Summit, for $38 million.

“We had greater plans for Mammoth but the Great Recession and then some less favorable weather interfered with our strategic aspirations in a finite life investment vehicle,” Barry Sternlicht, Starwood’s chief executive, said in a statement last week. “We know Aspen and KSL have the experience, commitment and balance sheet to help make our vision a reality.”

It was unclear as of press time on behalf of which vehicles KSL is making the acquisitions. The firm closed its latest value-added fund, KSL Capital Partners IV, in September 2015 on $2.7 billion, PERE previously reported.

“If you live in southern California and want to ski, Mammoth, June, Bear and Snow Summit universally come to mind first,” Eric Resnick, KSL’s CEO, said in the statement. “This transaction will allow the combined company to better serve Mammoth’s loyal customers while at the same time exposing these world-class resorts to a broader audience.”