—Merlin Entertainments has offloaded two of its resort properties to Vail Resorts. The two properties, Hotham and Falls Creek, are located in Victoria, Australia, about 400 miles north/northeast of Melbourne. Vail Resorts, which is known for its own ski resort properties, and which is headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado—about a half-hour drive north/northwest of Denver—made the purchase for $174 million. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close by June 2019. Net proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes. Nick Varney, chief executive of Merlin Entertainments, said: “We are pleased to reach this agreement with Vail Resorts, which will allow us to focus on our core business of location-based entertainment, specifically theme parks and Midway attractions.”
—Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, operator of a number of attractions, has announced the acquisition of The Works Entertainment, the world-class creative and production company known for The Illusionists franchise and other variety shows. The addition of the brands to Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group’s portfolio increases the global reach of the company, and continues its diversification of content offering and consolidate its presence in “soft-seat” theatres.
This is the third acquisition for Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group in recent years, after acquiring Blue Man Group in 2017 and VStarEntertainment Group in 2018. Said Daniel Lamarre, president and CEO of Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, said: “The Works productions have natural affinities with our own, in that they are high-quality universal live experiences that appeal to different audiences from different cultures around the world without having to adapt the show to each market. Magic, a genre that The Works has successfully mastered through their hugely successful Illusionists franchise, has been performed for centuries and continues to enjoy a steadfast popularity among audiences worldwide.” Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group purchased The Works Entertainment from owners Simon Painter, Tim Lawson and Kilburn Live.
—Financial services company Ebix‘s subsidiary, EbixCash, has agreed to acquire Delhi-based Pearl International Tour & Travels and Mumbai-based Lawson Travels & Tours for an undisclosed amount. consideration. The acquisition is expected to increase EbixCash’s travel expanse across its two travel brands Via & Mercury, to a total gross merchandise value of $1.16 billion, as well as increased tour and travel industry presence of 10,000 agents, 300 more corporate clients and B2C portals. According to the Ebix, both the acquisitions are expected to generate operating margins of 30 percent.
—The specialist travel group Travelopia is acquiring Enchanting Travels, a German luxury tailor-made operator. Completion of the deal is subject to regulatory approval in certain jurisdictions and agreement from Enchanting Travels’ minority shareholders. Founded in 2004 by Parik Laxminarayan and Alex Metzler, the firm provides product in North America, Europe and Australia. It has six offices across four continents, handles 30,000 holidaymakers a year across 44 countries. The company has developed a leading technology platform and its forecast to double its revenue to an unspecified level in the three years to 2019. Future expansion is planned through the development of new and existing source markets and destinations. Travelopia handles more than 750,000 travelers a year operating more than 50 brands including Quark Expeditions, TCS World Travel, Hayes & Jarvis, Sovereign Luxury Travel, Exodus Travels, Citalia, Austravel, Le Boat, Gullivers Sports Travel, Flexiski, American Holidays, The Moorings, Sunsail and Headwater. Travelopia is owned by KKR, a New York-headquartered private equity firm. It acquired the unit in 2017 from TUI.