SeaWorld Entertainment to buy Cedar Fair parks for $3.4 billion?

by Susan and Simon Veness

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.

SeaWorld roller coaster
Photo by SeaWorld

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.

Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio
Photo by Cedar Point

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.

Knott's Berry Farm
Photo by Knott’s Berry Farm

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.

Neither company was quoted directly for the story, which was also reported by Reuters and BusinessWire, who added that Cedar Fair has confirmed the offer, while SeaWorld declined to comment.

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.


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Dale Dixon February 1, 2022 - 7:45 pm

Knott’s Berry Farm is in Buena Park, the heart of Southen California

Romero February 2, 2022 - 1:02 pm

Correction for your article in regards to Sea World & Cedar Fair:
Knott’s Berry farm is located in the city of Buena Park, California.
Not in the city of Anaheim, California.

Susan and Simon Veness February 2, 2022 - 1:41 pm

Thank you for catching that, Dale Dixon and Romero. We’ve corrected it.

Lyndon Larson February 2, 2022 - 6:24 pm

The deal has not gone through. Six Flags offered 4 billion a few years back, and Cedar Fair didn’t go for it. How does 3.7 billion a few years later make any sense? Especially when revenue is so good at both parks. Please don’t spread news that you have not vetted.

DENNIS February 3, 2022 - 10:07 pm

Don’t sell not right at knotts if they sell no more BoysBerry festival live summer knotts scary farm no chrismas people losing there jobs don’t sell not right knotts is a land mark and the other parks they have Cedar fair


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