Tags: apollo | great wolf | private equity | ksl

Private-Equity Firms in Bidding War for Great Wolf

Great Wolf Resorts Inc. got a $234 million takeover offer from KSL Capital Partners LLC on Sunday, topping a bid from Apollo Global Management LLC for a second time and extending a private-equity bidding contest for the water-park operator.

KSL made an unsolicited offer of $7 a share in cash, Madison, Wisconsin-based Great Wolf said in a statement Sunday, adding that it would consider the proposal. Great Wolf said on April 6 it agreed to a sweetened bid from Apollo of $6.75 a share.

The latest offer from KSL, a Denver-based private equity firm, is 40 percent more than the original $5 a share transaction that Great Wolf and Apollo disclosed last month. Great Wolf owns 11 resorts that cater to families and feature indoor water parks, suite-style rooms, restaurants, spas and arcades.

Great Wolf opened its first lodge in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, in 1997. The chain has expanded into eight other U.S. states and Canada since then.

Shares of Great Wolf rose 88 cents to $6.58 in Nasdaq trading on April 5. The stock has more than doubled year to date. Apollo rose 22 cents to $14.35 on April 5. The stock is up 16 percent year to date.

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