NEW YORK—Blackstone Real Estate Partners IX, an affiliate of Blackstone, is acquiring a 65% controlling interest in Great Wolf Resorts Inc. from affiliates of Centerbridge Partners L.P, the existing owner. As part of the transaction, Blackstone and Centerbridge will form a new $2.9 billion joint venture to own the company.
“We have been very impressed by the evolution and growth of the company under Centerbridge’s ownership,” said Tyler Henritze, head of U.S. acquisitions, Blackstone Real Estate. “With the leadership of its talented management team, Great Wolf has enriched the guest experience and opened seven new lodges since 2015. We look forward to investing in these properties to further deliver for guests and grow the company.”
William D. Rahm, a senior managing director/global head of real estate, Centerbridge, added “We are enthusiastic about partnering with Blackstone to continue accelerating the growth of the company. Blackstone is one of the most experienced and successful investors in the hospitality and leisure industries, and is highly supportive of Great Wolf’s growth potential and each lodge’s ability to provide unparalleled experiences for families.”
Murray Hennessy, CEO, Great Wolf Resorts, stated, “We are pleased to welcome Blackstone as a new member of the Great Wolf pack and excited to begin the next chapter for our rapidly expanding company. Great Wolf stands to benefit greatly from Blackstone’s world-class insights and expertise in hospitality, and values Centerbridge’s continued involvement as we look to further expand the Great Wolf brand with the development of new resorts and enhancements to our renowned immersive family experiences.”
Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and Citigroup Global Markets Inc. are serving as financial advisors to Great Wolf, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is serving as legal counsel to Great Wolf. Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLC is serving as legal counsel to Blackstone.