ASC sell-off continues

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— American Skiing Co. continues to unload its resorts. Company officials announced Tuesday the sale of Vermont ski resorts Killington and Pico to SP Land Company for $83.5 million.

The announcement comes less than a week after ASC announced a deal to sell the Mount Snow and Attitash ski resorts to Peak Resorts for $73.5 million. ASC reached an agreement with Intrawest in December to sell the Steamboat Ski Area for $265 million. That deal is scheduled to close sometime next month.

"With the recently announced sales of Steamboat, Mount Snow, Attitash and now Killington and Pico, American Skiing Co. is clearly in transition," ASC president and CEO B.J. Fair said in a news release. "We will be reviewing our organizational needs and adjusting accordingly.

"As a result of these transactions, the company expects to repay all bank debt, junior subordinated debt and have substantial resources to address the needs of our Sunday River and Sugarloaf resorts in Maine and The Canyons in Utah."

ASC has been debt-saddled for years. According to its 2006 fiscal report, the company had $588.6 million in total outstanding indebtedness. The sum included $220.7 million of secured debt that requires regular payments on principal and interest, and $367.9 million in redeemable preferred stock, which someday will be redeemed for cash but does not require regular payments.

ASC is controlled by Texas equity investment firm Oak Hill Capital Partners, which owns a majority of the company's preferred shares.

Killington, one of the most popular ski resorts in the Northeastern U.S., has 200 trails, 1,209 skiable acres and a vertical gain of 3,050 feet. The smaller Pico Mountain resort has 50 trails, 214 skiable acres and a vertical gain of 1,967 feet.

Included in the sale of the Killington and Pico are all resort-owned operations and real estate assets. SP Land Co. will assume about $5 million in debt. The sale is expected to close by the end of April.

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