Jazzland purchase may have hit snag

Posted Friday, March 1, 2002 6:18 AM | Contributed by Shawn

The company that wants to buy Jazzland Theme Park has encountered a glitch in its plans to seal the deal. Entertainment Associates, LLC inteded to buyout the park's major loan so that they would have more influence in bankruptcy proceedings. The park however filed yesterday, and the transaction had not yet taken place.

Read more from the Times-Picayune.

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Friday, March 1, 2002 8:31 AM
Like I said before - This isn't over....and I guess I was right. The question now is, will EA get the park after all or will this become a new CF:LP or SF property.

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S W :) :) S H
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GO HUSKERS!

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Friday, March 1, 2002 9:21 AM

Maybe, maybe not. Notice that Alfa tried to sell the park in the past, but failed. Then again, they may have tried to recoup their $100 million investment last time around.

I don't see SF buying anything for quite some time. Their stock is low, they're choking on debt and their last big expenditure ($100 million+ for the former Aurora Sea World) was an incredible failure. Shareholders would string them up by the thumbs.

If CF was willing to purchase MA for $28 million in stock, I don't see why they wouldn't snap up Jazzland for $32 - 35 million....save for the fact that MA was historically profitable, of course.

-'Playa

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Friday, March 1, 2002 10:45 AM
Six Flags Inc. is NOT the company trying to buy this, Entertainment Associates LLC is a company started by a former SF executive and this company will have no connection with Six Flags.

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Off with the trims!
My fellow Americans; Let's Roll!
http://www.woodencoaster.com

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Saturday, March 2, 2002 10:00 AM

Um, thanks bigkirby for stating the obvious. Please re-read the posts above and then edit or delete yours.

CP, I know what you mean. But CF:LP has said that they are looking for properties in the south, and this is about as far south as you can go.

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S W :) :) S H
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Do you bleed blue? BLUES HOCKEY 2002

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Sunday, March 3, 2002 5:58 AM

Swoosh, I was responding to CoasterPlaya's post:

"I don't see SF buying anything for quite some time"

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Sunday, March 3, 2002 5:23 PM

He was responding to mine...

"The question now is, will EA get the park after all or will this become a new CF:LP or SF property."

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S W :) :) S H
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Do you bleed blue? BLUES HOCKEY 2002

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Monday, March 4, 2002 10:39 AM

Maybe, maybe not. Notice that Alfa tried to sell the park in the past, but failed. Then again, they may have tried to recoup their $100 million investment last time around. I don't see SF buying anything for quite some time. Their stock is low, they're choking on debt and their last big expenditure ($100 million+ for the former Aurora Sea World) was an incredible failure. Shareholders would string them up by the thumbs. If CF was willing to purchase MA for $28 million in stock, I don't see why they wouldn't snap up Jazzland for $32 - 35 million....save for the fact that MA was historically profitable, of course.


You mean the same investment that increased the parks attendance by 61% last season?
*** This post was edited by Vertigo on 3/4/2002. ***

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Monday, March 4, 2002 3:55 PM
Hey Vertigo - which investment are you referring to? In the quote there are 3 different ones. Are you talking about Alfa and Jazzland, or CF:LP and MA or SF and Sea World Aurora? Way too vague.

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S W :) :) S H
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GO HUSKERS!

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Monday, March 4, 2002 7:55 PM
Since Vertigo isn't specifying which investment he's asking about...I'll break my post down into smaller pieces for people who don't know what I'm talking about.

1) It cost $110 million to build Jazzland and it was sold to Alfa Alfa for 138 million....click here and read paragraph 10. More than likely, Alfa Alfa's first attempts to sell Jazzland were priced way too high.

2) SF paid $110 million for Sea World as of 2/9/01 (SEC 10-Q filed 11/14/01 page 9 paragraph 5) . Of course, they couldn't afford to do this with cash...so they issued preferred stock (SEC 8/14/01 10-Q page 9 last paragraph) instead. If you're familiar with the history of Six Flag's (Premier's) quarterly and annual reports, they've always been happy to report increases in attendance after plunking shareholder cash in a park (like they did with SFA, SFGADV or even SFWOA in previous years) but this year you haven't heard one word about their new 'superpark.' I think the reason is fairly obvious.

Even after refinancing their debt at lower interest rates, they're still $2.2 billion plus in debt (Six Flags 1/31/02 8K page 4 paragraph 2) already. Why would they scare off investors in a bear market by loading on more debt? For crying out loud, their shares have just crawled back up to 15...better than 13 but still way, way down from their 52-week high (23.73). I don't think buying any other parks is really healthy right now.

3) CF doesn't use shareholder money to build coasters like SF does....they can raise extra cash privately if they have to, thanks to their much higher investment-grade rating. But that higher rating came from a much more conservative approach to purchases and expenditures. They're not going to buy a pig in a poke or shell out money to get into a situation they aren't fully informed about. That's why they backed out of the Visionland deal and why they won't purchase Jazzland unless they're very, very comfortable with the deal.

I gotta say.......the more I look at this convoluted financing slop ($30 million bank loan, $25 million city-backed HUD loan, $8-9 million tax assessment) the more I'm convinced CF won't touch this thing with a ten-foot pole. Well, 99% convinced. The EA deal could collapse, the city could decide to choke down the HUD loan and their tax assessment too, but short of that absolutely not.

As far as any investment that supposedly raised any parks attendance 61%, who and where? If SFWOA's attendance increased even 20%, we'd be hearing about it with each and every Six Flags financial statement....nothing like that happened. And of course, we all know Jazzland's attendance dropped from 1.1 million to 580,000 this year. No park we're discussing has had any significant gains. *** This post was edited by CoastaPlaya on 3/5/2002. ***

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