Great Wolf Resorts Inc., which operates an indoor water park in Mason, said Tuesday it agreed to be acquired for $167 million by New York investment firm Apollo Global Management.
Apollo will pay $5 a share, about a 19 percent premium over the Madison, Wis.-based company’s closing stock price on Monday.
Great Wolf counts 33.4 million outstanding shares. Apollo valued the deal at $703 million including the assumption of debt.
The offer was unanimously approved by Great Wolf’s board, which is advising the company’s shareholders to tender their shares.
“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,” Kim Schaefer, Great Wolf’s CEO, said in a statement.
Also, Great Wolf said its board approved a shareholder rights plan, known as a “poison pill,” which is a maneuver designed to deter any unsanctioned attempts to take over the company.
Great Wolf said the plan, which kicks in if someone other than Apollo acquires 12.5 percent or more of the company’s stock, is designed to protect the company’s shareholders in the event that someone other than Apollo attempts to buy the company.
The Mason resort opened in 2006 employing about 500.
The first Great Wolf Lodge resort opened in 1997 in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., and the company now operates 11 properties.
The resorts generally include 300 to 600 rooms and a large indoor entertainment area of up to 100,000 square feet. They also feature arcade and game rooms, themed restaurants, spas, children’s activities and other amenities, the company said.