The operator of the Aspen Snowmass ski areas and a Denver private equity firm are buying Intrawest Resort Holdings Inc. in a deal valued at $1.5 billion.

Denver-based Intrawest (NYSE: SNOW), which operates the Winter Park and Steamboat ski areas in Colorado as well as other ski areas, said affiliates of the Aspen Skiing Company and KSL Capital Partners will pay about $944 million, or $23.75 per share, to take the company private, and will assume the company's debt in the $1.5 billion deal.

"Both Aspen and KSL are committed to helping Intrawest accelerate our plans to bring more value to our guests, more opportunities for our employees and more investment into our local communities," Intrawest CEO Thomas Marano said in a statement.

Aspen Skiing Co. owns four Aspen resorts, including Snowmass, Buttermilk, Aspen Mountain and Aspen Highlands. KSL Capital Partners is based in Denver.

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