Cardrona offer $7million to purchase Treble Cone in New Zealand

Treble Cone
Treble Cone ski area

We broke the news in Australia of Cardrona’s bid to purchase Treble Cone earlier this week. While the current offer is conditional on a three month due diligence, more details of the potential sale have emerged.

The Wayfare Group is the holding company for Real Journeys (they purchased Cardrona in 2013), Canyon Food and Brewery, The International Antarctic Centre, Go Orange and Cardrona. Earlier this week the group entered into a conditional agreement with Treble Cone to purchase the resort.

The Wanaka Sun reports on the letter sent to Treble Cone shareholders this week confirming that Cardrona Alpine Resort Limited offered $7million for the assets of the company. A tiny sum in the international scheme of takeovers – Vail bought Falls Creek and Hotham this year for $174 million. But Treble Cone has long been rumoured to be in financial grief. 

Wayfare also offered company shareholders entitled to Treble Cone season passes, a 20 year pass each to Cardrona, Soho (Cardrona entered into an agreement with Soho last year) and Treble Cone.

John Darby (who sold Soho Basin to Cardrona last year) is the major shareholder with 60% of the shares and the remaining 40% are all skiers and boarders who purchased shares 17 years ago in the hope of securing a safe future for the resort.

The shareholder letter reveals:

“The Heads of Agreement is subject to conditions including completion of formal documentation, due diligence to be completed by CARL by 30 August 2019, and the Company’s shareholder approval at a special general meeting to be held if due diligence is confirmed by CARL. If the sale and purchase proceeds settlement will be after the 2019 ski season.

“The Board of Treble Cone will engage an external advisor who will provide an independent report to accompany all information which will be provided to shareholders prior to the shareholders’ meeting to assist them in determining whether they consider the sale to be fair and reasonable and to vote according to their own determination.”

Those who follow the ski industry of New Zealand closely are not surprised at the offer for takeover. Treble Cone has struggled over the years to create a profitable business. They misread the locals connection to the resort with a disastrous rebrand. Then a new and  experienced management team were finally employed last year but the Cardrona offer may now usurp their efforts.

Cardrona under the Real Journeys banner have consistency progressed with new infrastructure, athlete training facilities, chairlifts and chondolasterrain expansion to become the country’s largest ski area and now the proposed purchase of Treble Cone.

Wanaka locals have long spoken of a two mountain pass and the hope that Cardrona would consider Treble Cone in their sights. 

Watch this space.
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Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.