Lack of interest from investors has led Whistler Blackcomb Holdings, a company formed by Intrawest and owned by Fortress Investment Group, to reduce the price of its IPO shares, according to several news reports. The reduction, from the planned range of C$14 to C$15 per share to the current range of C$12.50 to C$13, effectively raises the proposed dividend rate to between 7.5 and 7.8 percent, from a yield of 6.5to 7 percent in the original plan.
The company will sell a stake to repay debt owed to Intrawest ULC, the selling shareholder and a unit of New York-based buyout firm Fortress Investment Group LLC.Previously, Intrawest has sold its Mountain Creek Resort in Sussex County (New Jersey), Copper Mountain last December, Panorama resort, B.C., the Village at Squaw Valley and the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. Last April Intrawest announced that it has successfully completed the refinancing of its corporate debt which was due in December 2009. The Company repaid its prior lenders in full and has completed a new loan, which is scheduled to mature in 2014.
Fortress still plans to sell roughly C$300 million worth of shares. While Fortress remains optimistic about successfully completing the IPO, some financial analysts have been cautioning investors to be wary. Activity has been described as light.
One group that may plunge ahead is Whistler Blackcomb employees. The local Pique newsmagazine reported that Whistler Blackcomb offered employees a chance to purchase shares. Minimum purchase was 100 shares (for the general public, minimum purchase is 1,000 shares). The deadline was Oct. 22; no word yet on how much of the company is now owned by employees