Reuters reported on December 17th that SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, the entertainment company controlled by the Blackstone Group, a private equity firm, were close to filing for an initial public offering.
On December 27th, the Associated Press and the company itself confirmed that the company filed paperwork to go public with a $100 million Initial Public Offering. As more investors become interested in the company, the number is likely to change according to the company’s bankers.
Blackstone bought Busch Entertainment Corporation back in 2009 from Anheuser-Busch InBev for $2.3 billion according to the company. The purchase included all SeaWorld properties, both Busch Gardens properties and adjacent waterparks. It also included Langhorne, Pennsylvania’s Sesame Place as well as Orlando, Florida’s Discovery Cove. Blackstone is expected to sell some of its stock but is planning to keep a majority stake in the company.
According to the Associated Press and SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, about 24 million people attended the parks the company controls in their fiscal year that ended on September 30th. The parks have stated they have a “stable attendance base”.
SeaWorld will use the money raised on the market to pay down debt and make payments to the Blackstone Group. While the date of sale, how many shares and share asking price is unknown, SeaWorld did state they will be trading under the ticker symbol “SEAS” on the Nasdaq market.