Cedar Fair and Six Flags merger to complete July 1, mostly Cedar Fair executives to lead new company

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

From the press release on closing:

Cedar Fair, L.P. (NYSE: FUN) (“Cedar Fair”) and Six Flags Entertainment Corporation (NYSE: SIX) (“Six Flags”), today announced that they notified the New York Stock Exchange (“NYSE”) that the closing of Cedar Fair and Six Flags’ previously announced merger of equals (the “Mergers”) is expected to occur on July 1, 2024 (the “Expected Closing Date”). The completion of the Mergers is subject to the satisfaction or waiver of a number of conditions set forth in the merger agreement relating to the Mergers, including the satisfaction of regulatory conditions.

Six Flags today additionally announced that its Board of Directors has declared a special dividend of $1.53 per share of Six Flags common stock. The dividend is payable on July 1, 2024 to stockholders of record of Six Flags as of June 28, 2024 who hold their shares through the closing of the Mergers. The special dividend is conditioned on the closing of the Mergers and is being declared in accordance with the terms of the merger agreement. Accordingly, the record date and payment date may change based on the actual closing date of the Mergers.

Until the Mergers are complete, Cedar Fair’s units and Six Flags’ common stock will continue to trade on the NYSE. Upon the closing of the Mergers, (i) Cedar Fair’s units, which currently trade on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “FUN” and (ii) Six Flags’ common stock, which currently trade on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “SIX,” will cease to be listed on the NYSE following the closing of the Mergers and will each be deregistered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Immediately following the closing of the Mergers, the combined company will be renamed “Six Flags Entertainment Corporation” and trading of the combined company’s common stock on the NYSE is expected to begin on the day following the Expected Closing Date, July 2, 2024, under the ticker symbol “FUN.”

From the leadership press release:

Cedar Fair, L.P. (NYSE: FUN) (“Cedar Fair”) and Six Flags Entertainment Corporation (NYSE: SIX) (“Six Flags”), today announced the senior management team that will lead the combined company following the completion of their previously announced merger of equals (the “Mergers”).

As previously announced, upon closing of the transaction, Richard Zimmerman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cedar Fair, will serve as President and Chief Executive Officer of the combined company and Selim Bassoul, President and Chief Executive Officer of Six Flags, will serve as Executive Chairman of the combined company’s Board of Directors.

After completion of the Mergers, the following leaders will report to Zimmerman in the combined company:

  • Tim Fisher, Chief Operating Officer (currently in same position at Cedar Fair)
  • Brian Witherow, Chief Financial Officer (currently in same position at Cedar Fair)
  • Brian Nurse, Chief Legal & Compliance Officer, and Corporate Secretary (currently in same position at Cedar Fair)
  • Christian Dieckmann, Chief Strategy Officer (currently in same position at Cedar Fair)
  • Gary Mick, Chief Integration Officer (currently Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Six Flags)

“We are fortunate to have a proven team of leaders who bring decades of park operating experience and significant expertise in integrating businesses and achieving synergy targets for the combined company,” said Zimmerman. “Their insights and complementary skill sets will be instrumental as we combine two of North America’s iconic amusement park companies and forge a new future together.”

The closing of the Mergers is expected to occur on July 1, 2024, subject to satisfaction or waiver of a number of conditions set forth in the merger agreement, including the satisfaction of regulatory conditions. Upon closing of the transaction, the combined company will operate under the name Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, trade under the ticker symbol “FUN” on the NYSE, and be structured as a C Corporation. The combined company will be headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, and will maintain significant finance and administrative operations in Sandusky, Ohio.

Jeff's avatar

Have they ever done a brand study about the perception of "Six Flags?" Hopefully they don't do anything stupid like put "a Six Flags park" on the signage of the CF parks. Ohioans, especially, remember.

I give Zimmerman three or four years tops, or whenever his contract is up, before he leaves or is pressured to leave for poor results. It's literally a good old white boys club in the C-suite, since they showed the one female exec the door.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog

TheMillenniumRider's avatar

They've been on a proper six flags trajectory since Zimmerman took over. Might as well carry the name.

Also, I can substantially increase "synergies" by canceling the special dividends and bonuses to the executives, but then again, it was never about saving money for the business, but getting another extraction for the shareholders and executives.

Last edited by TheMillenniumRider,

So the Feds are done nosing around on this now? Thought there was some CF unit holders suing them.....

Jeff's avatar

Dodging the unit holders is shady, but as best I can tell it's not illegal. I'm not sure what the claim is after or alleges (I didn't read it), but I imagine it's that this isn't a good deal for unit holders in the long run. They're probably right, but I don't know how you'd prove that until it's done.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog

I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around this. It feels like the end of an era. But most of all to piggyback on Jeff's comment, I can't believe they're going to brand themselves under the Six Flags name.


OhioStater's avatar

Promoter of fog.

I hope this doesn’t lead to a spectacular bankruptcy in a few years. Can’t wait to see how expensive an all park pass is next year…

2022 Trips: WDW, Sea World San Diego & Orlando, CP, KI, BGW, Bay Beach, Canobie Lake, Universal Orlando

Knowing the Six Flags way, it will probably cost less than what this year's two all park passes cost.

Totally anecdotal, but I'm in a couple of former employee and history groups on Facebook for SFOT and there are people in there that are optimistic that this is a sign of a impending turnaround for the quality of the parks. I feel like the chain will look more like Six Flags bankruptcy years than the halcyon days of Cedar Fair.

Lord Gonchar's avatar

Lord Gonchar (on November 2, 2023):

...the name is synonymous with theme parks to the average person. No one knows what a Cedar Fair is.

Branding the company as SF brings far more recognition than going the other direction. Hell, I'd argue that the SF brand recognition is part of the value they bring

I still believe this.

Schwarzkopf76's avatar

Great, now they can buy Marineland and have "Magic Mountain - North."

I keep positive they will go in the Cedar Fair quality direction. The Six Flags parks could be so great with a little clean up, operationally and otherwise.

Ride ops gotta operate

To me it all depends if they are going to cut the deadwood out of SF, and maybe one or two parks under CF, and whack down the debit prudently.

The prob is intrest rates are still what they are, and Merlin has enough Legolands already, lol.

And while certain things about modern CF are bad, compared to late Kinzel they are pretty good. The maintenance and landscaping and food are way better, and yes ops is hit or miss, but it’s nowhere near low level SF bad. And hopefully the cap ex bump means they can actually finish SF projects and open them on time, and fix the food.

Last edited by Sharpel007,

The whole thing is just 🤢🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮

TheMillenniumRider's avatar

I won't say never, because speaking in absolutes isn't typically good practice. But, typically, mergers into mega companies just cause worse quality products and overall, less value for the end user. Mergers can end in spectacular failure or create tons of corporate infighting as cultures don't align. I am skeptical of any merger, especially one of this scale. I want to be wrong, and I hope you all quote me in 5 years and say told you so, but I have a feeling I will be doing a little Gonchback of my own and some or all of this will come true.

Jeff's avatar

Huh? Boeing and McDonald-Douglass went great!

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog

Rick_UK's avatar

For my own curiosity, I plotted all the parks on a map and colour coded them by chain.


(please don't tell me this is already available elsewhere after I spent 20 mins doing it)

Nothing to see here. Move along.

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