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American Skiing rejects Otten bid for Sunday River, Sugarloaf

Email|Print| Text size + By Steven Syre
Globe Staff / June 6, 2007

American Skiing Co. said yesterday that it has agreed to sell Maine resorts Sunday River and Sugarloaf/USA to a Michigan company for $77 million, passing on a competing bid from its former chief executive, Les Otten .

American Skiing will sell the properties to Boyne USA , a private resort company that agreed to assume $2 million in debt and other liabilities. American Skiing has agreed to sell five resorts, including Killington, Mount Snow, and Attitash, for a combined $421 million since December. It will own just one resort after the sales .

American Skiing has been selling assets to meet debts and other financial obligations. The company is due to redeem about $400 million in preferred stock this summer, but says it doesn't have enough money to fully pay off owners of those shares.

Otten, a former Boston Red Sox partner, resigned from the American Skiing board in February, shortly before the company said it would conduct a strategic review for Sunday River and Sugarloaf. He started the business that would become American Skiing when he bought Sunday River 27 years ago.

"I'm disappointed in the decision," Otten said yesterday. "We submitted a highly competitive bid but American Skiing chose to sell the resorts to another group. "

Steven Syre can be reached at syre@globe.com.

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