Apollo Global to Buy Timeshare Operator for $2B

The private-equity firm's acquisition of Diamond Resorts adds to a hospitality portfolio that also includes Caesars Entertainment.
Matthew HellerJune 29, 2016

Continuing a recent surge in hospitality industry mergers, private-equity firm Apollo Global Management agreed Wednesday to acquire timeshare properties operator Diamond Resorts International for about $2.2 billion.

Las Vegas-based Diamond, which has a network of 420 properties in 35 countries, had announced in February that it was working with investment bank Centerview Partners on strategic alternatives. Apollo Global is paying $30.25 per share in cash for the company, representing a premium of about 26% to Diamond’s closing stock price on Tuesday.

In trading Wednesday, the stock rose 23.7% to $29.79. “We have built a solid business focused on operational excellence, hospitality, and customer satisfaction, the result of which has been stellar financial results and strong cash generation,” Diamond CEO David Palmer said in a news release. “This transaction is an excellent outcome for our shareholders.”

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There has been a series of deals in the hospitality space this year including Marriott International’s acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and China-based HNA Group’s purchase of Carlson Hotels, the owner of the Radisson hotel chain.

Apollo’s hospitality interests include large stakes in Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Caesars Entertainment Corp. It sold Great Wolf Resorts to Centerbridge Partners LP last year.

“Stephen [Cloobeck, Diamond’s founder], David [Palmer], the management team and Diamond’s more than 8,000 team members have built an amazing customer-centric business with a great reputation that delivers award-winning hospitality experiences at great value,” Apollo partner David Sambur said.

“We look forward to bringing Apollo’s resources to bear and working with the Diamond Resorts team to continue to grow and enhance their business,” he added.

The Wall Street Journal noted that Apollo has been “one of the most active private-equity firms this year,” citing its acquisition of specialty grocer The Fresh Market Inc. for $1.4 billion in April. It also plans to buy University of Phoenix operator Apollo Education Group for $1.14 billion.