Cedar Fair to sell California's Great America for $70 million

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

[Ed. note: The following is an excerpt of a press release. -J]

Cedar Fair (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and active entertainment, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its California's Great America amusement park, located in Santa Clara, California, to JMA Ventures, LLC ("JMA") for $70 million in cash. The Company, which purchased the park in 2006, expects to use the cash proceeds from this sale to reduce its senior secured debt.

"Our decision to divest of our California's Great America park was not an easy one," said Dick Kinzel, Cedar Fair's chief executive officer. "This is a quality park that has terrific employees and serves a strong market. That being said, as part of our regular comprehensive review of our portfolio of parks, we determined that divesting a smaller park like California's Great America at an attractive market value created a compelling business opportunity that we couldn't pass up. Among other things, it provides us the opportunity to immediately de-lever our balance sheet resulting in additional financial flexibility for growth and unitholder value creation in the future. California's Great America and its employees have always demonstrated tremendous capability in providing its customers with the highest level of family entertainment in the northern California region. I'm confident the park and its employees will continue to thrive under the ownership of JMA."

"As we look toward 2012, we are building significant momentum for Cedar Fair to deliver consistent and meaningful distributions to our unitholders," said Matt Ouimet, Cedar Fair's president. "At the same time, we remain committed to driving top-line growth through a combination of new rides and attractions, marketing initiatives and related strategic expansion around our entire portfolio of premier entertainment venues. The divestiture of California's Great America will provide us with additional financial flexibility earlier than anticipated to achieve these goals and maintain Cedar Fair's position as one of the most attractive growth and yield stories in the leisure and hospitality industry."

The transaction, which is subject to approval by the City of Santa Clara and customary closing conditions, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2011. Cash proceeds received at closing are expected to be applied to the Company's senior secured debt under the terms of the Company's credit agreement. A Form 8-K with the material terms of the definitive agreement will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission by the end of day Tuesday.

California's Great America is northern California's leading amusement park, with more than 50 rides and attractions. JMA Ventures, LLC is a California-based full service real estate investment firm, serving as managing partner of over $500 million in existing projects spanning hospitality, leisure, residential developments, retail, office and industrial/telecom.

Read the entire press release from Cedar Fair.

Lord Gonchar's avatar

Timber-Rider said:
...so spare us from your passy lifestyle.

When I was younger I got my share of passy. Since I've been married, not so much.

LostKause's avatar

I don't think Timber-Rider will passy any spelling testies.

Lord Gonchar's avatar

Seriously, I never thought I'd see the day where a season pass was considered a 'money' thing. I mean we've debated every upcharge, every value proposition, every angle of haves-vs-have-nots and never once can I remember a season pass being lumped in as a perk of the 'haves'

It's getting easier and easier to pretend I'm rich. :)

Got a Platinum Pass for the first time this year. Well we're movin on up. To the east side....

birdhombre's avatar

Pfft, that's nothin'. I got a Cedar Fair pass *and* a Six Flags pass this year. I would care that the latter doesn't include parking, if not for the fact that I simply deduct it from my chauffeur's wages.

I'd hate to think what he would think of my "passy lifestyle," what with half-season tickets to a minor league team, CF pass, a Universal AP, and what basically amounts to a world-wide Disney AP. That probably puts me in the Hamptons or a high-rise in Manhattan, right? ;)

Original BlueStreak64

Heck, you're practically passy-whipped.

My author website: mgrantroberts.com

Jeff's avatar

Back in the day, making half what I do now, my former wife and I has passes for Cedar Fair, Six Flags, Paramount and Busch parks.

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

Timber-Rider said:
I think it's terrible that they would hike up their prices for the hallow=weekends, especially when only half the attractions in those parks would be open, and probably at the slowest capacity, and limited hours of operation.

It's simple supply/demand economics. These are the busiest operating days of the season. When demand increases, you can (and any smart business will) charge more. And as someone already mentioned, they operate even more attractions during those weekends than they do during the regular season, not less.

So you expect more product to be provided, at a greater demand and with less supply (fewer operating days) without the price adjusting at all?

kpjb's avatar

As I get older I have more of a gassy lifestyle.


Jerry's avatar

As I get older I am just more Sassy. -

I have a Platinum Pass and a Zoo Pass.

Does that make me a double passy?

Last edited by Bozman,
CoasterDemon's avatar

Vater said:
Screw your hall pass!

Oh, Halloween, how I love thee. Brings out the best in everyone!

Lord Gonchar's avatar

I spent exactly $0 on amusement parks this year.

I guess you could say that when it came to making a decision about theme park trips, we decided to pass.




CoasterDemon's avatar

Juggalotus said:
When demand increases, you can (and any smart business will) charge more.

Smart with respect to short term financial goals, yes. It's all about perspective.

**I do love this thread; gassy sassy passy and passy-whipped testies and Halloween all in one!

kpjb's avatar

If you include my paychecks, I'm WAY ahead on amusement park visits this year.


Jeff's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:
I spent exactly $0 on amusement parks this year.

Are you going to skip out on BooBuzz just to keep that record?

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

Lord Gonchar's avatar

No BooBuzz for me this year.

Dude sounds passed off. But it's always better to be passed off than passed on.

Last edited by RatherGoodBear,
Vater's avatar

I prefer to be passed out.

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