Bids for Six Flags parks come in below expectations

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

Six Flags Inc., seeking to reduce its $2.2 billion of debt by selling theme parks, received bids for the properties that may fall short of investors' expectations, two people briefed on the matter said. Buyout firm MidOcean Partners and theme park operator Herschend Family Entertainment Corp. offered less than $650 million for the six locations, said the people, who declined to be identified because the process is private. Real estate investor CNL Financial Group offered at least $650 million, one of the people said. An analyst says they need $800 million to sufficiently lower debt ratios.

Read more from Bloomberg.

Now it's quite clear why Herschends only offered $650 million...their bid did not include Magic Mountain.

At least one of the suitors — Atlanta-based Herschend — did not include Magic Mountain in its bid.

"We continue to do research on the selected Six Flags properties. Magic Mountain is not specifically involved in our negotiations," said Lisa Rau, spokeswoman for Herschend.

The company operates 17 properties in seven states, including Dolly Parton's Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

Herschend's exclusion of the roller-coaster-intensive park is likely to hurt its bid because Six Flags seems intent on selling the six properties as a group, said David Miller, an analyst at Sanders Morris Harris in Los Angeles.,1,5859222.story?coll=la-headlines-business

That seems ideal for SFI, provided the Valencia land is really as valuable as many seem to believe...
kRaXLeRidAh "Herschends only offered $650 million."

They offered below that. I wonder how much. That, in my opinion, would be a steal. They could still keep Magic Mountain than. You have to remember that Magic Mountain make 2.5-3 million in attedance every year.

Not only that, but you have the water park that probably makes another 800,000 a year. So, that way over Cedar Point in Sandusky. It might not be as much as Disney, but what can you do. It's easier to fix than they think. It's not the family style park as he wants. You can't just change a roller coaster frenzy company around just like that, and saying let's get rid of them.

Is SFGAdv next because it has the next number of coasters. It doesn't as many flats as it used to, but yet it is also getting a lot of attendance. If the people are there, it's better than these small parks that can't make it, and start laying off people, and starting there season later even with warm weather because people just don't like the parks as much as these bigger ones.

Debt is debt, but it won't help if the junk parks are left, and the good parks have died. You might as well fold now!!

Six flags Great adventure is there best park hands down... by popularity and by revenue. How are you guys going to say that its a troubled park? Its known worldwide now.
Im the president of SF.

For Sale

That one in Washington.

Price, 1 billion
Granted, I gave three of it's biggest propeties away here but it's also three of the highest operating cost and hardest to operate.

I wouldn't sell Darrien NO FRIGGIN WAY

Id expand on it's campground and add a resort and refurbish this park with a few rides from the others (It's not far from Niagra (A destination)

Id take SFOG, SFFT and SFSTL and expand them also making SFFT and SFSTL resorts as well.

Id staff the parks well and provide training condusive to customer service.

It's about making money, not losing it and several of the changes that SF is taking isn't condusive to making money in the long term. Make some resorts, waterpark expansions and make people happy. They could pay the remaining billion off just by income if people would come back and spend money while they are there.


SFGRADV is fast becoming the SFMM of the east by focusing soley on coasters & not enough on family based rides.....the coasters attract the season pass holding teens/young adults who tend to spend less while in the park & are expensive investments to make,especially for a company that's so far in debt.
No one really knows for sure if season passes holders spend less or more. People just assume they spend less. Now that will change starting next year Six Flags will be offering discount on all food and merchandise to season pass holders, Every time you use this discount the worker will have to scan your season pass. The idea is to track season pass holders to see how much do they really spend.
^How much of a discount will they be offering?? The problem isn't the season passes people. If it is, make them cost more money like at SFStL, SFKK, and so on. People of all ages spend enough money at the park. They even have this thing called parking too which is like $50 now at my park. Stop blaming it on the teens. You pay to get in the park, and ride the rides. You don't pay to get in to do everything that costs money in the park. Just because Six Flags wants you to, why should you?

Funnel Cakes are good, but they are also a ripoff. If they were inexpensive, I would buy one probably every other time. We aren't talking a huge difference, but still. It's just obvious why us teens don't spend as much money on the food as let's say Burger King. The prices are not reasonable!! When does the park have the greatest shirts in the world either? They hardly have any coaster shirts like they used to. I want a Demon shirt, and where is it to be found. It's there fault they don't have what I want.

Powerade was $3.50. Come on!! That's not even 50% markup of what a regular consumer would buy at the store. That's a lot more.

SFGRADV is fast becoming the SFMM of the east by focusing soley on coasters & not enough on family based rides.....the coasters attract the season pass holding teens/young adults who tend to spend less while in the park & are expensive investments to make,especially for a company that's so far in debt.

You've got to be kidding me. Have you really been so caught up in the whole hype of Kingda Ka and El Toro that you conveniently forgot that the park also opened up Bugs Bunny National Park -- the park's THIRD children's area last year with new family/children's rides IN ADDITION to Bali's Jungle Playland (park's second kids area) which was introduced two years ago along with Kingda Ka? Oh, and I almost forgot to mention Tango, a family ride, and all those Tiger exhibits for the entire family. "Becoming the SFMM of the east and not enough on family based rides"? Hardly.

^He's talking about all the flats that aren't there anymore. I heard 14 have disappeared. What were all of them by the way?? Do you know?? I know Chaos, Enterprise, Huss Frisbee, and Huss Jump.
Here's the list of Great Adventure flats and other rides that went "missing" or were transferred as I know it:

1) Chaos
2) Jump
3) Evolution (relocated to SFSTL as Excalibur
4) Frisbee (relocated to SFGAM as Revolution
5) Polyp
6) Double Inverter
7) Breakdance (relocated to SFOT as I'm assuming Rodeo This to me was one of the dumbest moves. You get a coaster named after a bull, but you take out your flat ride that actually had bulls.
8) Taz's Twister (Rotor)
9) ...and right next door was a Wipeout-style ride (total brainfart on actual name)

If my suspicions are correct:
10) Condor (relocated to SFGAM) as part of the earlier Time Warner ride-rotation-program

Upcharge attractions
1) Slingshot replaced by ErUption
2) Zamperla Turbo Force (four-seater Skyscraper-like ride)

I think the Enterprise was going under renovations, and is not being taken out of the park. Anyone know for sure? I never went that way since Batman & Robin the Chiller was closed, so I can't give you any progress report on it.

The Top Spin and the Vekoma Mad House (Houdini's Great Escape) remain out of the new ride package of 99'.

^^ I'm talking about how SFGRADV hasn't added many flats lately to replace the ones they've lost instead choosing to go the SFMM route by adding coaster after coaster as their major new attractions.

SFMM got messed up that way & SFGRADV will as well if they continue to follow that same trend.

Six Flags has always been in kind of a problem spot when it comes to adding new attractions to the park. On one hand, those family rides are what all the parks need to make them more appealing to the general public. But the level of family ride the SF can afford isn't very high in comparison to Disney or Universal. On the other hand, they know that a coaster is a highly marketable attraction that has worked time and time again.

So they could roll the dice on buidling their own version of say the Haunted Mansion, but the expensive ride may or may not increase customer visits, whereas they know that a new coaster is more likely to do just that on a lower budget.

As someone pointed out, SFGADV did add new family areas, but I can tell you out here on the west coast all we saw were specials on El Toro and Kingda Ka. SFMM is in the same boat, their kids area is actually the best themed area of the entire park, and yet it receives no attention.

So at the end of the day, the decide on coasters time and time again because it's within their budget, and it's the safest choice they can make when it comes time to invest in new rides.

^If that were the case then we'd be seeing more coaster installations across the chain,not just at the same two or three parks over & over that we have in recent years.
I think that SFGAdv had the right idea about adding thrilling flats, but look at how many of them just didn't work (I think so), hurt, or were taken out because of other parks not having them either.

Our SFGAm Rotor (Cajun Cliffhanger) had a stupid accident, and they are taking them all out. Magic Mountain has there's, but I don't know if it's open. Chaos had that problem at Michigan's Adventure (maybe), and they took all them out.

Jump, Frisbee, and Evolution, I just heard they had problems. According to some site, the Polyp didn't have big enough arms, or something. It seems like they sent that to SFA after they got it fixed. It has to be at new charge, but it was already a dead ride at SFGAdv. So, they could have kept it. This is a guess. It seems like it was put in 1999, and 2000 SFA got it.

The Double Inverter is just painful, so they probably just said goodbye. I don't like Breakdances, but I don't know about that ride. So, in essence, SF picked the wrong rides, and had to take them out. I think they should put intense flats in instead of roller coasters especially since we are in this amount of debt.

To me, it seems easy to buy rides for your park that are thrilling, and that aren't. These are just new rides that failed miserably. Carnivals have so many flat rides that are wonderful, and have been out awhile. These rides just aren't tested and proven. They bought what they saw, and not what other parks have. That's what it seems to me.*** This post was edited by Ilovthevu' 11/12/2006 10:26:41 PM ***

rollergator's avatar
Other parks have *troublesome* flats as well, it's not like GAdv is the only park to ever install maintenance-intensive rides...

Looking at the line-up of CF? - PCW, (similar attendance, lots of high-tech flats), I'd bet their maintenance staff spends half an eternity each day getting their rides running...but they get them up and running dutifully....and breakdowns were fixed post-haste....

I just have a REALLY hard time with all the *excuses* that get made for GAdv in regards to their rides...."blah blah blah, never ran right, etc."'s Excalibur doing at SFStL....I know it's run EVERY day I was there...

C'mon Six Flags, jump on the Norton Auction band wagon!
I have to go back up a few posts and agree with Gonch on this one. I think SF will try and sell the parks to existing amusement park operators. This will be good for the parks as they will continue to operate as parks, and makes the amusement industry much better as a whole. Also, that operator that will buy the parks will probably dismantle SFMM and sell the land off as a development deal and make most of their money back that they paid for the parks. Not bad to make most of your money back on a land deal and then be able to acquire a few smaller parks and also be able to stock those parks with lots and lots of coasters and water rides and all that good stuff. Sounds like a win win situation to me.

On the topic to selling the parks individually....there is only one problem with that....too much work. You may get people to buy parks like SFMM and SFDL and SFEG, but what happens when SFI is stuck with a few parks that they could not sell at all. The bottom of the barrell. I think SFI does not want to get stuck with any of the parks so they are packaging them up so that you get one park with lots of rides and things, two small to medium sized parks and a bottom of the barrel park or two also. The trick is to unload all of the parks at once in one large deal. If they hang on to one or two for two long, it does not help them out financially. I honestly think SFI should sweeten the pot by adding in Frontier City and maybee even Enchanted Village also to the list to try and get the money they need.

Don't be surprised if another park is thrown in to try and get the sale done. SFI is not in a good negotiating stance on this one, and a potential buyer could easily come in and make a steal right from under SFI's nose. SFI needs the money very badly and the buyers know that. They may be willing to part with a property or two that may have been deemed as untouchable just to get a few extra bucks they need to get their debt down.

SF will sell the parks to whoever offers them the most money. If that happens to be another entertainment company intent on keeping them as parks, fine. If it happens to be someone who wants to turn them into organic zucchini farms, that's OK with them too.

Six Flags' loyalty is to Six Flags- its shareholders and its Board of Directors. (As is any company's) The Board's job is to increase the value of the shares for the shareholders. Nothing more. Ideally, they would do that through increasing revenue at its parks. But if they can't do it that way, and they have to do it by selling properties, they'll do it that way instead.

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