Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Apollo Global Management Acquires Great Wolf Resorts

New York, NY, USA /BUSINESS WIRE/ -- An affiliate of Apollo Global Management, LLC and Great Wolf Resorts, Inc. have announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement whereby Apollo, a leading global asset manager, will acquire Great Wolf, North America’s largest family of indoor waterpark resorts, for approximately $703 million, including the assumption of the Company’s outstanding debt.

Through a cash tender offer, Apollo will make an offer to purchase all outstanding shares of Great Wolf common stock for $5.00 per share. This offer represents a premium of 72.9% over the six-month average of Great Wolf’s share price ending on March 12, 2012, a premium of 50.4% over the ninety-day average of Great Wolf’s share price ending on March 12, 2012, and a 19.3% premium over Great Wolf’s closing stock price on March 12, 2012.

The transaction was unanimously recommended by an independent strategic review committee of the board of directors of Great Wolf and unanimously approved by the board of directors of Great Wolf, who are recommending that Great Wolf stockholders tender their shares in the offer.

Great Wolf operates some of North America’s premier family-oriented destination facilities and is the indoor waterpark resort industry leader. The first Great Wolf Lodge resort opened in 1997 in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin; Great Wolf now operates 11 properties throughout North America. These resorts generally feature 300–600 rooms and a large indoor entertainment area measuring 40,000–100,000 square feet. The all-suite properties offer a variety of room styles, arcade/game rooms, fitness rooms, themed restaurants, spas, supervised children’s activities and other amenities.

“We are very excited to support the continued growth of Great Wolf Resorts,” said Aaron Stone, Senior Partner at Apollo Global Management. “Great Wolf has built a remarkable company with an outstanding family leisure and entertainment offering. We feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to continue the Company’s commitment to provide the very best in family destination resorts.”

“Kim Schaefer, Chief Executive Officer for Great Wolf, and her team, have done a fantastic job building this great company and consistently delivering a special experience to their guests. We are honored to have the opportunity to partner with such a talented group of people and look forward to working with them to continue to build on the many strengths of Great Wolf,” said Scott Ross, Partner at Apollo Global Management.

“After a thorough assessment, we concluded that the proposal put forth by Apollo is the best way to maximize value for shareholders, who will receive a substantial and immediate cash premium for their shares,” said Schaefer. “We are excited about the prospect of working with Apollo as we further capitalize on opportunities to refine and grow our Great Wolf Lodge brand. With the help of our talented and dedicated team, we will continue to offer our guests the superior experience that they have come to expect from a Great Wolf Lodge getaway.”

Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. is serving as financial advisor to the Company, and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is serving as the Company’s legal advisor. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, UBS Investment Bank and Nomura Securities International, Inc. are serving as financial advisors to Apollo, and Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP is serving as Apollo’s legal advisor.

ABOUT APOLLO GLOBAL MANAGEMENT
Apollo (NYSE: APO) is a leading global alternative investment manager with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Houston, London, Frankfurt, Luxembourg, Singapore, Mumbai and Hong Kong. Apollo had assets under management of more than $75 billion as of December 31, 2011, in private equity, credit-oriented capital markets and real estate funds invested across a core group of nine industries where Apollo has considerable knowledge and resources. http://www.agm.com

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ABOUT GREAT WOLF RESORTS, INC.
Great Wolf Resorts, Inc.® (NASDAQ: WOLF), Madison, Wis., is North America’s largest family of indoor waterpark resorts, and, through its subsidiaries and affiliates, owns and operates its family resorts under the Great Wolf Lodge® brand. Great Wolf Resorts is a fully integrated resort company with Great Wolf Lodge locations in: Wisconsin Dells, Wis.; Sandusky, Ohio; Traverse City, Mich.; Kansas City, Kan.; Williamsburg, Va.; the Pocono Mountains, Pa.; Niagara Falls, Ontario; Mason, Ohio; Grapevine, Texas; Grand Mound, Wash.; and Concord, N.C. Great Wolf’s consolidated subsidiary, Creative Kingdoms, LLC, is a developer and operator of technology-based, interactive quest adventure experiences such as MagiQuest®. http://www.greatwolf.com