SeaWorld Entertainment Inc., the parent company of SeaWorld and Busch Gardens parks throughout the U.S.A., has made a massive $3.4 billion offer to buy Cedar Fair and its 12 amusement parks.
The deal was detailed by Bloomberg’s Business Deals today, which insisted the surprise move was being negotiated behind closed doors at both companies.
Cedar Fair has now confirmed they have received the offer and are reviewing it.
SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. already has 13 parks in its portfolio, including Florida’s SeaWorld, Discovery Cove, Aquatica, and Busch Gardens, as well as Sesame Place parks in California and Pennsylvania, plus three in Texas as well as two more in Virginia.
The Cedar Fair parks include the big roller-coaster kingdoms of Cedar Point in Ohio and Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California, in addition to Kings Dominion in Virginia, Carowinds in North Carolina, and Canada’s Wonderland in Ontario.
In all, the Cedar Fair company owns 26 properties in the U.S. and Canada, notably nine admission-included water parks, four more with separate admission, and the indoor watery fun of Castaway Bay in Sandusky, Ohio.
When completed, the deal will create the biggest amusement parks entity in North America and underline SeaWorld’s upbeat approach to the entertainment and leisure industry as it rebounds from two years of the pandemic.
The company recently reported record revenues for the third quarter of 2021 and is about to unveil 10 new attractions across its U.S. portfolio in 2022, including major coasters for each of SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa, and SeaWorld San Diego.
Shares in Cedar Fair jumped 9.6 percent to $54.51 in New York before trading was halted, boosting the company’s market value to almost $3.1 billion while SeaWorld’s climbed 5.4 percent to $62.79 for a $4.9 billion valuation.
BusinessWire reports, “Consistent with its fiduciary duties, and in consultation with its independent legal and financial advisors, the Cedar Fair Board of Directors will carefully review and consider the proposal to determine the course of action that it believes is in the best interest of the company and its unitholders.”
Cedar Fair rejected a $4 billion takeover bid from Six Flags Entertainment Corp. in 2019.