Kinzel says he wants to get back to running parks, not worrying about finances

Posted Sunday, January 17, 2010 4:12 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Cedar Fair CEO Dick Kinzel says he's tired of having to concentrate on debt and finances. He says he wants to renew his focus on running amusement parks. Kinzel said the proposed $2.4 billion sale to Apollo Global Management offers a way out of the debt Cedar Fair took on when it acquired the Paramount amusement parks in 2006.

Read more from The Sandusky Register.

Sunday, January 17, 2010 4:15 PM
Jeff's avatar

If this isn't the biggest example of how non-qualified he is, I don't know what is:

"I'm an operations person. I'm not really a finance person."

WTF? You're a CEO! If you can't do both, you don't belong in that job.

The more he talks to the press, the more pissed off people are going to be at him.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Sunday, January 17, 2010 4:26 PM

^ Agreed. He can't even do ops right! Fire his butt out of a cannon into the middle of Lake Erie!

Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!

Sunday, January 17, 2010 5:53 PM

Nah put him back where he started, asst manager of the Skyride Stand..........

Sunday, January 17, 2010 6:12 PM

Wow, just the fact that something like this would be said out of a CEO's mouth is just unreal.

My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.

Sunday, January 17, 2010 6:22 PM

Wow. Just wow. Why in the world would he say that? He's giving all of his haters free ammunition.

Sunday, January 17, 2010 10:01 PM
phoenixphan :-)'s avatar

Maybe he is hoping that a statement like this from a CEO will cause stock to plummet, then the Apollo deal will not seem so terrible... I know, far fetched, and maybe a bit to bright for him...

Real men ride wood... coasters that is!
Sunday, January 17, 2010 10:02 PM


My author website:

Sunday, January 17, 2010 10:03 PM

Hey, hey, hey...that is only a partial quote that I feel was taken out of context. Let's atleast take a look at the full quote before we judge:

"I'm an operations person. I'm not really a finance person. Except when it comes to my 20mil golden parachute. Then I assure you, I'm a finance person."

Sunday, January 17, 2010 10:41 PM

If I were able to set up a sweetheart deal for myself like Kinzel did, I guess I wouldn't worry about finances either.

Interesting about the timeline. The meeting between Kinzel and Apollo was October 6, and Kinzel met with the board October 7. The announcement that the dividend was being suspended was made in mid-November, followed by the price drop. I question whether any action taken by the board after October 7 was for the good of the unitholders or for the benefit of Apollo, and in turn the execs.

If you knew there was going to be an offer made, why the urgency to suspend the dividend for what would be one quarter before the proposed sale? The only answer I could see is to manipulate the unit price to make Apollo's offer appear to be a premium. In reality, the offer is barely a dollar more than the unit price was in late September/ early October.

Sunday, January 17, 2010 11:35 PM

He's obviously not a foodie either.

Monday, January 18, 2010 12:20 AM

RatherGoodBear, consider the timeline as given in the preliminary proxy statement:

October 6: Apollo representative meets with Kinzel and prepares to enter into an agreement before the scheduled announcement in the first week of November

October 7: Kinzel meets with the board

October 15, 16, 21: Board meetings

October 23: Board meets, discusses forward looking finances, and alternatives for fixing the money problem including sale, partial sale, suspension of distribution, issue of new units, and anything else they could think of.

October 27: Apollo offers $11.25/unit; board says company is worth $12.00-$12.50.

October 29: Board officially rejects $11.25, Apollo offers $11.70 if it can get financing.

October 30-31: Board meets, says $11.70 might be OK, discusses terms and conditions.

November 1: Apollo says it can't get financing. Board decides to terminate discussions with Apollo and discusses the 3Q announcement.

November 2: FUN tells Apollo that the acquisition is dead.

November 3: FUN makes its not-so-fun 3Q announcement; unit price tanks as expected.

November 6: Apollo somehow comes up with more money and indicates willingness to buy at $11.

November 10: Board meets again and says Apollo needs to make a better offer

November 12: Apollo offers $11.50 with certain conditions

November 13-December 15: Lots of discussions mostly about terms and conditions

December 16: Final offer presented and approved by the Board

The only thing in there that makes me go "Hmmmm..." is the part where Apollo knew what the November 3 announcement would be, and that they came back after that with a lowball offer...and the board listened to them. What happened to $11.70?? But on paper, I don't see anything that suggests that the company did not act in its own best interest under the assumption that the merger with Apollo would fail, while still pursuing the merger discussions.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____

Monday, January 18, 2010 1:05 AM

My guess is that if you took a poll of CEOs, the vast majority of them would say at this point that they wish they could spend a lot less time focussing on finance issues and a lot more time focussing on the operations of the business. Over the past 18-24 months, management of almost all businesses have focussed significantly more time than is typical on financing issues. The CEOs that I have dealt with do understand both the operations and finance sides of the business though they pretty much all tend to have more of an operations background than a finance one. Operations is the sexy side of the business. Finance is a necessity (few folks form a non bank/lending business with the key goal of borrowing money, managing interest rate risks, etc.); but you have to do those things in order to do the core business (typically the fun stuff of the business itself). More companies that I deal with have strong CFOs/treasurers that focus on the finances than have COO's focussing on the operations. Recent financial market turmoil put the magnifying glass on the finance side of businesses which has proven to be a learning experience for a lot of folks in management.

Monday, January 18, 2010 2:23 AM
Jeff's avatar

Every public company I've worked for had CEO's that came up from the finance side. In fact, one of them I remember sitting in a meeting scratching my head about just how unwilling they were to consider anything about the obsolete structure and operation of the company (that company has since been delisted and is nearly worthless).

At the end of the day, it's the CEO's job to guide the company, and if he can't handle the financial side, he has no business being there.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Monday, January 18, 2010 2:51 AM
DantheCoasterman's avatar

Maybe...Dick was joking, but the humor didn't transfer well in text?

That tends to happen. You know, like everything Megan Fox has ever said?


Monday, January 18, 2010 8:39 AM

^Does she even need to be humorous?

Megan Fox

I didn't think so. :)

Monday, January 18, 2010 9:35 AM
delan's avatar

Eh, she has "toe thumbs"! lol

But back on topic! I thought this was a spoof of some sort, come to find the words actually came out of his mouth. They should have someone on SNL do a sketch of all his comments.

Monday, January 18, 2010 10:04 AM

I didn't read what he said as indicating that he cannot handle the finance side of the business. He said that operations is what he does best. Doesn't mean he can only do one thing. But folks I guess will view it differently.

Monday, January 18, 2010 11:01 AM

Ride Man, you actually read that all the way through? I ddn't bother, since I already know how I'm going to vote, and the Board will try to push through what they want. Neither is changing the other's mind, so I decided to use the time it would take to slog through that more productively and enjoyably.

Monday, January 18, 2010 12:07 PM

I have to agree with GoBucks. I don't read this as Kinzel saying he can't do finance. Its just not what he loves doing.


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