DLA Piper advises Merlin Entertainments on the A$174 million sale of Australian ski resorts

DLA Piper has advised Merlin Entertainments, a global leader in location based entertainment, on the A$174 million sale of its Australian ski resorts, Hotham and Falls Creek, to US ski resort operator Vail Resorts, Inc.

Falls Creek is Victoria’s largest ski resort and features a variety of terrain, including beginner and intermediate trails suited to families and first-timers. Hotham is the only resort in the Southern Hemisphere where the village is located on top of the mountain, ensuring ski-in, ski-out opportunities.

The acquisition includes ski school, retail/rental, reservation and property management operations at both resort areas. The deal is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close by June 2019.

The DLA Piper cross-border team involved lawyers from the firm's offices in Leeds, Melbourne, Chicago and Los Angeles, and was led by Leeds-based Corporate partner Stephen Atkinson, assisted by senior associate Amar Maan and associate James Croft. Corporate partner Gerry Bean led the Australian team including solicitor Kathryn Randle (Corporate), partner James Newnham (Tax), partner Simon Uthmeyer (Litigation & Regulatory), solicitor Akshay Rao (Real Estate), partner Arthur Chong (Real Estate) and solicitor Elizabeth Cole (Employment).

Other team members included partner Rob Salter (Corporate, London), partner Rob Davis (Corporate, Chicago) and of counsel Rishi Sodhi (Tax, Los Angeles).