Apple Leisure Group on the block?

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AMResorts, a division of Apple Leisure Group, operates many Caribbean and Mexico resorts, including the Breathless Punta Cana.
AMResorts, a division of Apple Leisure Group, operates many Caribbean and Mexico resorts, including the Breathless Punta Cana. Photo Credit: Bart Beeson

Executives of two travel-related companies said they have received queries from an investment bank representing Bain Capital Private Equity exploring whether their companies are interested in information regarding a possible acquisition of Apple Leisure Group (ALG).

ALG is the parent company of resort operator AMResorts, ground operator AmStar and wholesalers Apple Vacations, Travel Impressions and CheapCaribbean.com. 

The Reuters news service last week reported that Bain was exploring a sale in response to interest from two Chinese companies, Fosun Group and HNA Group Co. Ltd., but that there was no indication that Bain would agree to sell ALG.

The proactive solicitations received by these two executives suggest that if interest from the Chinese companies were unsolicited, it spurred Bain to actively seek additional bids.

Both executives, representing U.S.-based companies, spoke to Travel Weekly on the condition of anonymity, and one said the solicitation went to potential strategic and financial buyers.

Reuters quoted an anonymous source as saying that ALG has a 12-month EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of $170 million.

“My sense is that no one wants everything,” one of the executives said. “No one can swallow the whole thing. Only a few could afford it, and they would have to be convinced it could (substantially grow) further. It might make sense for a hotel company to buy it, but Marriott and InterContinental are already distracted with integrations. It’s my belief that if a transaction occurs, whoever buys it will want to sell off the assets that don’t fit in well.”

Fosun purchased the all-inclusive resort group Club Med last year, and HNA’s Tourism Group division agreed to acquire Carlson Hotels (parent of Radisson) in April. 

A representative of ALG responded to a request for comment by saying, “Apple Leisure Group has made significant progress in growing and building a powerful platform that could be attractive to a variety of suitors, so it is prudent that we and our owners evaluate options for our company. As a matter of policy, we do not comment on speculation.”

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