Arctaris Impact Fund Reportedly Makes Offer to Buy Saddleback
The Boston firm had previously expressed interest in acquiring the defunct ski area in 2018.
Friday, March 15, 2019, NewEnglandSkiIndustry.com
Saddleback Base Lodge, March 18, 2018
Arctaris Impact Fund has made an offer to acquire Saddleback Mountain, the Portland Press Herald reports.
Based out of Boston, Arctaris Impact Fund was formed in 2018 to "invest in Low and Moderate Income communities throughout the U.S., addressing underserved and underbanked businesses that are poised for growth." The fund is a subsidiary of Arctaris, which was founded in 2009. According to the company's web site, co-founder Jonathan D. Tower is a Phillips Academy Andover graduate and earned his MBA from Harvard in 2002. Prior to Arctaris, Tower worked for Fidelity and IBM.
According to the Portland Press Herald, Arctaris has proposed to invest $25 million to $30 million to reopen Saddleback. The firm is reportedly looking into Opportunity Zone and immigrant investor programs for the Saddleback proposal. Andy Shepard, former Maine Winter Sports Center CEO, has been involved in the deal. During his time as CEO, Maine Winter Sports Center owned Big Rock, Black Mountain, and Quoggy Jo ski areas.
The Saddleback saga dates back to July 2015, when the Berry family, owners of the ski area since 2003, announced the Rangeley double chairlift was "at end of its useful life" and that operations would cease if the lift could not be replaced. The lift was not replaced and the ski area sat idle for the following two winters.
On June 28, 2017, the Berry family announced Saddleback was being sold to the Majella Group. At that time, Majella announced the sale would be completed later in the summer and the area would reopen with a new fixed grip quad chairlift and T-Bar. The deal was never completed, the lifts never installed, and the area never reopened. Majella CEO Sebastian Monsour was arrested for alleged investor fraud June 2018. Majella's Portland, Maine development company, 32 Thomas Street LLC, filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February 2019. Meanwhile, creditors in Australia are pushing to liquidate Majella.