Wednesday, May 11, 2011

SkiStar Plans Swiss Investment, First Outside the Nordic Market

SkiStar the Nordic region’s biggest ski-resort operator, said it is in talks with Andermatt Swiss Alps AG on developing two Swiss ski resorts as it seeks to expand outside the Nordic market for the first time.
SkiStar and Andermatt Swiss Alps, owned by Orascom Development (listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange), have today signed a Letter of Intent regarding mutual negotiations regarding ownership and development of the ski areas in Andermatt and Sedrun in Switzerland. Investments amounting to approximately SEK 1 billion are planned to modernise and link the ski areas together.
The development is conditional on agreements being reached with existing shareholders, creditors and the respective cantons of Graubünden (Sedrun) and Uri (Andermatt), as well as the federal government, with regards to contributions supporting the planned investments.
Andermatt Swiss Alps owns and operates a development project comprised of 1.4 million square metres of land, for which 490 apartments, 25-30 villas and a further 6 hotels with 844 rooms, classified as 4 and 5 star, are planned.
"We hope to have reached an agreement after the summer, and if it happens earlier that’s even better", Magnus Sjoholm, SkiStar Chief Financial Officer said. "We’ve received a lot of proposals and when this one turned up it sounded very exciting. It’s the first time we’ve taken anything this far".
The village of Andermatt has approximately 1,300 permanent inhabitants and is situated at 1,440 metres above sea level, 120 kilometres south of Zurich and 180 kilometres north of Milan. The current number of ski days amounts to a total of 450,000, of which Andermatt contributes 180,000 and Sedrun 270,000.
SkiStar is listed on Nasdaq OMX Mid Cap Stockholm. The Group owns and operates alpine destinations in Sälen, Åre and Vemdalen in Sweden, and Hemsedal and Trysil in Norway. The Company’s market share of SkiPass sales in Scandinavia amounts to 39%.
The core business is alpine skiing, with a focus on the guest’s overall skiing experience. Operations are divided into two business areas: Destinations, which consists of skiing, accommodation services, ski school and ski rentals, as well as Property Development, which includes construction and development.

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