Apple Leisure Group on the block?

Apple Leisure Group on the block?

Executives of two travel-related companies said they
have received queries from an investment bank representing Bain Capital Private
Equity exploring whether their companies are interested in information
regarding a possible acquisition of Apple Leisure Group (ALG).

ALG is the parent company of resort operator AMResorts, ground
operator AmStar and wholesalers Apple
Vacations, Travel Impressions and CheapCaribbean.com. 

The Reuters news service last week reported that Bain was
exploring a sale in response to interest from two Chinese companies, Fosun
Group and HNA Group Co. Ltd., but that there was no indication that Bain would
agree to sell ALG.

The proactive solicitations received by these two executives
suggest that if interest from the Chinese companies were unsolicited,
it spurred Bain to actively seek additional bids.

Both executives, representing U.S.-based companies, spoke to
Travel Weekly on the condition of anonymity, and one said the solicitation went
to potential strategic and financial buyers.

Reuters quoted an anonymous source as saying that ALG has a
12-month EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of $170
million.

“My sense is that no one wants everything,” one of the
executives said. “No one can swallow the whole thing. Only a few could afford
it, and they would have to be convinced it could (substantially grow) further.
It might make sense for a hotel company to buy it, but Marriott and
InterContinental are already distracted with integrations. It’s my belief that
if a transaction occurs, whoever buys it will want to sell off the assets that
don’t fit in well.”

Fosun purchased the all-inclusive resort group Club Med last
year, and HNA’s Tourism Group division agreed to acquire Carlson Hotels (parent of Radisson) in April. 

A representative of ALG responded to a request for comment
by saying, “Apple Leisure Group has made
significant progress in growing and building a powerful platform that could be
attractive to a variety of suitors, so it is prudent that we and our owners
evaluate options for our company. As a matter of policy, we do not
comment on speculation.”

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