Parques Reunidos hires advisors for possible Busch Ent. acquisition

Posted Monday, August 11, 2008 1:24 PM | Contributed by Jeff

The owner of Parques Reunidos, one of Europe’s leading theme-park operators, has hired investment bankers to advise on a possible $4.5 billion (£2.3 billion) bid for the American company behind Sea World and Busch Gardens.

Read more from The Times (UK).

Monday, August 11, 2008 3:43 PM
Well, I guess instead og Bud, it'll be Beck's served in the parks. Has anybody ever been to one of PR's parks?
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Monday, August 11, 2008 3:45 PM
rollergator's avatar ^They're running KW right now... :)
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Monday, August 11, 2008 3:55 PM
Not to mention a few others.

At least if it happened, BGE would have a slightly more authentic European flavor . . .

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Monday, August 11, 2008 4:32 PM
OMG, they're going to become huge taco stands! :)
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Monday, August 11, 2008 4:57 PM
Okay. They're the guys who bought Story Land up her in NH.
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Monday, August 11, 2008 6:10 PM
kpjb's avatar Why would they serve Beck's instead of Bud? Beck's is German. Parque Reunidos is Spanish. Candover is British.
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Monday, August 11, 2008 7:00 PM
All I care is that they keep these amazing parks open. I have been to both busch gardens parks and sea world Orlando and they are all world class attractions and some of the best park experiences that I have ever had.
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Monday, August 11, 2008 8:17 PM
ridemcoaster's avatar We are going to be hearing a few hats thrown in the ring between now and the end of this year..

Maybe its a bit to much on a personal level for me, but we are operating as business as usual until things finish going through anti-trust and the shareholders sign off on things to make the I-B/A-B merger final and then I-B determines the final sale price and offers up the parks.

Most frustrating thing of this is whomever takes over the parks; the speculation of how the park will be run, what idealisms that Busch has will be kept (AB/BEC are very much into making the park "green" for example), and how the employee base will be taken care of weigh in on my mind.

Not to mention the benefits they even give the guests as pass holders, the theming and care taking that has made Busch one of the most "beautiful parks" (BGW), etc. etc...

Its just all interesting when you start to really look at the people who are "interested" and then investigate how things are currently run behind the scenes at those respective suitors and compare to current..

But hey.. not all change is bad right??

/rant

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Monday, August 11, 2008 8:58 PM
Kick The Sky's avatar Maybe whoever takes over will finally operate the rides properly ;)

Seriously, though, to echo some of ridemcoaster's sentiments, what will happen to all of those programs that Sea World runs to protect aquatic wildlife, including the program to help save the Manatees in Florida?

The Busch Parks are all more than the parks themselves. By removing Busch from the equation, I fear the specialness of the parks will be lost and they will become just like any other park out there run by Cedar Fair or Six Flags.

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Monday, August 11, 2008 9:42 PM
rollergator's avatar If the Busch family were to come back for just the parks (they do have the resources to make an offer), then the twin messages of stewardship and conservation would remain intact. At this point, though, the more realistic outcome is for PR or Blackstone to take the reins.

The only parks I can think of in the US that even approach those subjects in any meaningful fashion are SFDK and HFEC's SDC/DW. SFDK might be a reasonable model for a "compromise solution"...but considering the profitability of the BEC parks as they are (significantly above the industry averages), any buyer might be wise to leave things alone for a couple years...

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008 1:33 AM
These Parques Reunidos just may the smartest guys out there. If they can secure the Busch Entertainmant parks, and along with the Kennywood empire, they would have the 2 best quality compaines out there.

Standard government laws will stop any knucklehead undercaptialized company from operating the Sea Worlds, since care of the animals are first priority. They have the bread to do it.

As for Kennywood, they wanted to 'own it', not run it. Many Kennywood faces are still there. If the same goes for Busch, they have enough talent in the management pool to operate and grow.

These guys could be a force in 5 years, and there is not park group to belly up to the bar with a better product. I know that Disney is king, but they are in their own little realm.

Not many themers can go toe to toe with Kennywood, Busch Gardens Virginia, and Sea World Orlando. Period. Nobody.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008 8:51 AM
^, ^^, ^^^, ^^^^ .... a lot of great points. I will personally feel a big "death" with the departure of A-B. Those parks were the highest-quality, best run parks I've been to outside of Disney. Who knows, maybe the new owner will continue in that same tradition, and as long as certain companies keep their hands off, there's still that hope. Saving the manatees, going green, and giving back to the community are admirable qualities that will hopefully continue with the new owners.
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Tuesday, August 12, 2008 10:21 AM
Jeff's avatar Kennywood is an empire?
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Tuesday, August 12, 2008 12:46 PM
rollergator's avatar ^Compounce, Idlewild, StoryLand, Kennywood. Not exactly ready to conquer the known universe, but a force in the industry in the northeast at least...

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008 2:36 PM
Jeff's avatar Yeah, I know which parks they own. I wouldn't describe it as an empire. Or even a force.
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Tuesday, August 12, 2008 4:16 PM
Maybe a mild disturbance in the Force.
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Tuesday, August 12, 2008 5:12 PM
kpjb's avatar Kennywood is an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.
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Tuesday, August 12, 2008 6:55 PM
^ So, that would make those who destroyed Geauga Lake Sith?
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Tuesday, August 12, 2008 7:31 PM
Actually, the destruction of Geaugaraan was ordered by Grand Moff Kinzel, to be precise. (Joke! Joke! For the love of all that is holy, please don't start flaming!)
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