Blackstone to Acquire 65% Controlling Interest in Great Wolf Resorts
Blackstone Real Estate Partners IX, an affiliate of Blackstone (NYSE: BX) ("Blackstone"), and affiliates of Centerbridge Partners, L.P. ("Centerbridge", the existing owner) announced today that Blackstone is acquiring a 65% controlling interest in Great Wolf Resorts, Inc. ("Great Wolf" or the "Company"). Great Wolf is a leading owner and operator of family-oriented entertainment resorts, with 18 resorts around the country. As part of the transaction, Blackstone and Centerbridge will form a new $2.9 billion joint venture to own the Company.
Tyler Henritze, Head of US Acquisitions for Blackstone Real Estate, commented, "We have been very impressed by the evolution and growth of the company under Centerbridge's ownership. With the leadership of its talented management team, Great Wolf has enriched the guest experience and opened seven new lodges since 2015. We look forward to investing in these properties to further deliver for guests and grow the company."
"We are enthusiastic about partnering with Blackstone to continue accelerating the growth of the company," stated William D. Rahm, a Senior Managing Director and Global Head of Real Estate at Centerbridge. "Blackstone is one of the most experienced and successful investors in the hospitality and leisure industries, and is highly supportive of Great Wolf's growth potential and each lodge's ability to provide unparalleled experiences for families."
Murray Hennessy, the CEO of Great Wolf Resorts, stated, "We are pleased to welcome Blackstone as a new member of the Great Wolf pack and excited to begin the next chapter for our rapidly expanding company. Great Wolf stands to benefit greatly from Blackstone's world-class insights and expertise in hospitality, and values Centerbridge's continued involvement as we look to further expand the Great Wolf brand with the development of new resorts and enhancements to our renowned immersive family experiences."
Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and Citigroup Global Markets Inc. are serving as financial advisors to Great Wolf, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is serving as legal counsel to Great Wolf.
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLC is serving as legal counsel to Blackstone.