As the Inbound Report predicted last month (Nov. 10 issue), Boston-based venture capital firm Bain Capital Private Equity was expected to complete the sale of its Apple Leisure Group (which includes the operator Apple Vacations®) by this month. And it has.
The announcement came Dec. 13 that New York-headquartered KKR, a private equity firm and an affiliate of Denver-based KSL Capital Partners have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the company from Bain. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Apple Leisure Group, the statement announcing the acquisition said, is “North America’s top seller of all-inclusive vacation packages,” Apple Leisure Group’s collection of leading subsidiaries includes AMResorts (hotel management and marketing services), Amstar (the largest destination management company for Mexico and the Dominican Republic), a portfolio of travel distribution brands in addition to Apple Vacations (Travel Impressions®, CheapCaribbean.com®) and the exclusive Unlimited Vacation Club travel program.
Already a part of KSL’s portfolio of properties are such famous names as: Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows; Barton Creek Resort & Spa; The Grove Park Inn; The Homestead; La Costa Resort and Spa and Rancho Las Palmas Resort and Spa.
“We are pleased to be partnering with KKR and KSL for our next phase of growth,” said Alex Zozaya, CEO of Apple Leisure Group. “They share our commitment to the vision of Apple Leisure Group as we continue to deliver great results to travelers, guests and hotel owners. We are extremely appreciative of Bain Capital Private Equity’s partnership and support in executing our growth mission and helping us strengthen our leadership position over the past four years.”
It was in 2001 that Zozaya founded the resort sales, marketing, and brand management company, AMResorts. A decade later, Zozaya helped create Apple Leisure Group by making tour operator, Apple Vacations, a sister company of AMResorts.
Bain Capital acquired a majority stake in Apple Leisure Group in late 2012, which then acquired online leisure wholesaler CheapCaribbean and B2B tour operator Travel Impressions from American Express, in 2013.
The transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of 2017, and is subject to customary regulatory approvals. KKR’s investment is being made principally from its eleventh Americas Private Equity investment fund.