Apollo Buys Great Wolf Resorts (APO, WOLF)

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An affiliate of asset management giant Apollo Global Management LLC (NYSE: APO) has agreed to acquire water-park resort owner Great Wolf Resorts Inc. (NASDAQ: WOLF) for $5/share, or about $165 million in cash. The total deal is valued at $703 million, which includes Great Wolf’s outstanding debt.

The cash tender offer to Great Wolf shareholders begins today. The company has also adopted a “poison pill” to forestall any other entity than Apollo from acquiring more than 12.5% of Great Wolf’s shares. Apollo’s offer represents a 19% premium above last night’s closing price for Great Wolf shares.

Great Wolf owns and operates 11 indoor water parks througout the US, and most include 300-600 guest rooms. Shares in Great Wolf are up more than 23% at $5.17 after posting a new 52-week high of $5.19 earlier.

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