Apollo and Six Flags reportedly interested in SeaWorld Parks prior to IPO

Posted | Contributed by VitaminsAndGravy

SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, which is exploring a sale, has attracted early buyout interest from private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC and amusement park operator Six Flags Entertainment Corp, according to three people familiar with the matter. Orlando, Florida-based SeaWorld, controlled by private equity firm Blackstone Group LP, filed for an initial public offering in December but is also in talks with potential buyers in what is known as a "dual track" process, Reuters reported previously.

Read more from Reuters.

Well, wouldn't that put the Geauga Lake fanatics into a tizzy? The company that left Aurora may sell it's park portfolio to the company that bought Geauga Lake and then built it up only to sell it to Cedar Fair who then closed it.

In other words, if Six Flags still owned the GL/Sea World Property they could have been operating it yet again as Sea World Ohio.

My head is spinning.

Last edited by wahoo skipper,
eightdotthree's avatar

Please don't.

LostKause's avatar

Not these guys again. After the Cedar Fair fiasco, I have no faith in Apollo.

Jeff's avatar

Blackstone has been a good, reasonably hands-off parent, from what I hear. I'm not crazy about another PE firm or Six Flags. An IPO would make them answer to investors, but they could still set their own agenda.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Walk-Off HBP's avatar

Six Flags reportedly interested in SeaWorld Parks

<loud, unrestrained burst of laughter>

Last edited by Walk-Off HBP,

The trick was to surrender to the flow.

I think this hs more to do with the facebook IPO

They can go into their IPO

Saying we had a firm offer for X dollars so the company is worth Y

Y divided by number of shares is Z

So Z is the price per share we are starting our IPO at

or we will just sell for the offer on the table (from whoever offers most)

Jimmy Boy's avatar

At least Six Flags has similar animal experience and show experience with discovery kingdom and great adventure. It makes more sense than Apollo at least. I would choose SF over CF for these acquisitions. Although I don't think any company could ruin the image of these great SeaWorld parks.

Jeff's avatar

InBev took a stab at it. Fortunately they weren't in control long enough to do serious damage.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

^^Apollo doesn't need experience with animals. They would more than likely leave the existing corporate management in place (just like Blackstone did). Apollo bought out Great Wolf Lodge last year and left its management in place.

A merger between Six Flags and Seaworld would mean layoffs for redundant positions at the corporate level. If most of those layoffs took place in Texas rather than Florida, the merger might not be a bad thing.

So far as I know, Al Weber has still not been replaced at SF. Imagine Jim Atchison being the COO of the merged company. If the current Seaworld management came-out on top, think of how much improvement we could see at the existing SF properties.

Last edited by WOF Guy,
Morté615's avatar

If I am reading everything correctly Blackstone would not be selling the parks in their entirety. They would only be selling a small share in the company, just like they would with an IPO. Blackstone would still own a controlling share and make the majority of the decisions, though now they would have to justify to (and take input from) their investor's (either private or public).

If all they want is a large, quick influx of cash I really don't think it matters where the money comes from. If they are looking at a long term investment I would think a private company (Apollo or Six Flags) would be the better way to go. If they stay completely private then they can take a long term view and not have to worry about the next quarter, they can be worrying about 8 or 9 quarters down the road.

Morté aka Matt, Ego sum nex
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