WEST PALM BEACH, FL (HEDGECO.NET) – Pirate Capital LLC, a U.S. hedge fund, has increased its stake in Canada’s Intrawest Corp. by acquiring another 325,650 Intrawest shares. The fund now owns 7.1 million shares of the Canadian ski resort owner’s stock at $34.96 to $35.03 a share,14.5 percent in total.
Intrawest reported total assets of $2.6 billion and 2005 revenue of $1.7 billion. The resort operator employs some 24,800 people. Intrawest’s other holdings include ski areas such as Panorama in British Columbia, Blue Mountain in Ontario, Tremblant in Quebec, Stratton in Vermont and Snowshoe in West Virginia. The company owns the Canadian Mountain Holidays heli-skiing operator, and holds an interest in the Abecrombie & Kent adventure travel company. The strategy seems to be to force Intrawest into putting itself up for sale, according to Canadian press reports.
Pirate Capital serves as the investment advisor to four event-driven hedge funds, Jolly Roger Fund LP, Jolly Roger Offshore Fund LTD, Jolly Roger Activist Fund LP and Jolly Roger Activist Fund LTD, and manages additional investment advisory accounts for institutional clients. Assets under management by Pirate Capital are in excess of $1.7 billion. Pirate Capital is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as an investment advisor under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.
Pirate Capital is controlled by former Goldman Sachs & Co. debt specialist Thomas Hudson. He has said the fair value for Intrawest’s businesses is at least $45 a share. The company hired the Goldman Sachs investment banking firm to help review its capital structure and look at “operating options” going forward. Those options could include forming partnerships, business combinations or a full sale.
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