Merlin IPO suggests purchase of Busch Entertainment

Posted Thursday, September 10, 2009 10:17 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Rumors of a potential sale of Busch Entertainment Corp. were rekindled this week by news that Merlin Entertainments Group, long thought to be a potential Busch suitor, is preparing to go public. Merlin is close to finalizing a plan for an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange, according to a report last weekend in The Independent of London. Merlin is owned by a private-equity giant, the Blackstone Group, which also holds a 50 percent stake in Universal Orlando.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

Saturday, September 12, 2009 12:02 PM

No, none of the examples that come to mind are Cedar Fair. (And seriously, shouldn't the one example be obvious?)

Saturday, September 12, 2009 12:24 PM

Jeff, the "Slip-n-Slide" going in your backyard for 2010 hardly counts ;)

Saturday, September 12, 2009 1:49 PM

Isn't Kennywood's new "Caffeine: The ride" an obvious answer? :) I mean, it's a double espresso of excitement...or something. Oddly enough, I can't find the ridiculous web page about how caffeinated the coaster is going to be. It was probably taken down from embarrassment.

Saturday, September 12, 2009 2:38 PM

I don't know LostKause, I am fairly confident that the correct answer was going to be Jeff's and the two other anonymous Slip-n-Slide's under construction at buzzer's homes for 2010 (Jeff of course gets the worlds first strata-slide, the others have to just settle for measly giga's.)

Saturday, September 12, 2009 8:14 PM

I agree with Carrie's earlier comment about it being ok about people wondering "whats next?"

I think one of the biggest problems (at least with me) is some enthusiasts confuse conceptual with planned implementation. Parks are always in conceptual phase, or at least the ones that have forward thinking. This allows you to go up to a suit or someone "high up" and have them respond with, "we have some big ideas in the works" vs "not a darn thing is going on" which is obviously PR suicide.

Busch has had about a dozen ideas within the last 6 months. It doesnt mean any of these will happen nor does it mean that we wont see some of them happen.. It just means they are forward thinking. The amusing thing is people get some wind (or a skewed variation) of these concepts and completely run with the ball well ahead of the park.

Then comes the "I hear they are going to build a .....", when the parks havent even looked into permits and contracts, or worse yet, already put it in the indefinite pile.

One reason I like CF parks, I pretty much sit on the outside of the "know", which is fine with me because I really enjoy the surprise of what is to come, and even the teasers. Sure, ive heard stuff like everyone else, but have no desire to perpetuate it mostly because I know parks work off concepts as well as planned ideas, and I have no idea which it is I hear.

Just boggles my mind why there are some folks who have to know way ahead of time.. Its almost like hearing your parents talk about your Christmas gift in June..

But we are all wired differently so I guess it is what it is..

Sunday, September 13, 2009 12:42 AM

I personally enjoy reading about what people know about what a park is doing or what they think a park is doing. I think it's annoying though when people say they know something but don't say what they know. Doing that makes no sense to me.

Sunday, September 13, 2009 12:55 AM

Most people who do know stuff don't talk about it because they were asked not to.

Sunday, September 13, 2009 8:16 AM

Or asked to sign NDA's which is even more binding.

Sunday, September 13, 2009 12:33 PM

I wonder if Blackstone may only buy into the park. Just look at UO . They may just want own it but not run it.
It seems like their partners have more say in what happens to the parks at least as far as UO is concerned.


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