U.S. Markets closed

Centerbridge Is Considering Options for Great Wolf Resorts

Kiel Porter and Gillian Tan

(Bloomberg) -- Centerbridge Partners is considering strategic options for indoor water-park operator Great Wolf Resorts Inc., according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The buyout firm is working with advisers to weigh alternatives including raising capital for growth, or a sale, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly. The initiative came in response to unsolicited takeover interest in Great Wolf, which could fetch more than $3 billion in a sale, one of the people said.

Great Wolf is set to generate more than $300 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization over the next 12 months, one of the people said.

A representative for Centerbridge declined to comment, and a representative for Great Wolf didn’t immediately have a comment. Considerations are at an early stage and Centerbridge may choose to own the company for longer.

Great Wolf competes with theme park operators such as Six Flags Entertainment Corp., Cedar Fair LP, SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. as well as those operated by Walt Disney Co. and Comcast Corp.’s Universal Parks & Resorts.

Centerbridge bought Great Wolf from Apollo Global Management LLC in March 2015 and has backed its growth plan. The Chicago-based company now operates 17 resorts, up from 11 at the time of purchase, according to its website. It has two more resorts, in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Manteca, California, in development.

Centerbridge, founded in 2005, has a long history of growing and trading real estate-based assets. In 2016, the firm sold Carefree Communities, an owner-operator of recreation vehicle resorts and manufactured senior housing communities that it had formed in 2013, according to its website.

(Updates with Great Wolf’s competitors in the fifth paragraph.)

To contact the reporters on this story: Kiel Porter in Chicago at kporter17@bloomberg.net;Gillian Tan in New York at gtan129@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Elizabeth Fournier at efournier5@bloomberg.net, ;Alan Goldstein at agoldstein5@bloomberg.net, Vincent Bielski, Alan Mirabella

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.