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Busch may sell parks in reorganization plan


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the biggest thing to note is this part:

 

Anheuser-Busch will soon outline its own restructuring that would include the sale of nonessential assets such its theme parks in an effort to boost its stock price
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The more money companies spend on items not essential to their own success, the more risks they are taking. If the theme park business were to take a major plunge, AB would lose money by operating their theme parks. Now, theme parks have nothing to do with the manufacturing of beer, so it is nonessential. Why spend money in areas that you don't necessarily need to boost your company? AB doesn't need the publicity. Nonessential assets create risks, and that is one thing that some companies do not want to deal with.

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I can see that.

 

They should certainly garner a great deal of attention on the open market. I wouldn't be surprised if it was a foreign company that winds up pulling the trigger though.

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I'm usually an optimistic guy, but I don't see any good from this. I can't think of any potential buyers for the Busch Gardens parks or Sea Worlds. The water parks should be sold fine though.

 

With as well as Busch operates the parks, I feel it can only go downhill, unless Herschend has some money to buy the parks that we don't know about.

 

The other possibility I don't know if it could work, but maybe something along the lines of what Paramount did right before they sold to Cedar Fair? Split the company in two and have the parks as a separate entity from the beer company, ya know. They would just be a sponsor of the park instead of the owner.

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I suppose they could. Are they in debt from their Legoland purchases in 2005?

 

I hope PARC doesn't get them. They just wouldn't fit. Heck, even Parques Reunidos may get the parks. We don't know how well or bad they would run things yet.

 

Let's just hope they come up with something better than outright selling or demolishing (not a likely prospect anyway) these parks.

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I agree that there can't be too many potential buyers for the theme parks. The WSJ article said that Busch Entertainment Corp. could fetch $3 Billion and I'm wondering who in the world would pony up that much. Not to mention the fact that I think the quality of the parks would decline without A-B's loving care. Apparently Busch III loves the parks while Busch IV is more indifferent (where did I read that?), but Busch IV doesn't want to be the Busch that lets an American icon get taken over by a foreign company, so he has to boost the stock price to drive away InBev.

 

I'm now reminded of those pinheads in Texas who became angry when SFOT applied for a license to sell alcohol. I wonder how much beer A-B sells in the theme parks alone. Can't be too shabby.

 

Personally, I'll vote my shares against the takeover, but without the theme parks, I wouldn't have bought the stock in the first place.

 

-Martin

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Not to mention the fact that I think the quality of the parks would decline without A-B's loving care.

 

Which is exactly the reason I didn't visit Sea World in over 15 years. It was a dump before AB bought it. I'll be honest, I'm scared of the thought of these parks being sold off. AB has done a wonderful job resurrecting them.

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I am keeping my fingers crossed on this one. As someone who worked for Busch Gardens Europe for 7 years Sea World for 2, and BGA for 4 and counting, there is no other company out there with the resources and dedication to keeping the parks looking beautiful as they are now. Plus with the Dubai project just getting going, I truly hope they are able to stave off this sale and possibly a hostile takeover.

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There are many things I wonder about this possible sell..

 

Remember a few months back there was talk of a possible move or sale of the amusement park division anyway, back when they came out with the new chain wide name.... World of Discover. I also remember reading that there was talk of moving the amusement division to Florida and building a new head quaters near Sea World.... It was also made know that the new head of Busch was not really interested in the parks division anyway....

 

So what I wonder know is maybe they already have a buyer in mind, somebody that may carry on the tradition of the parks.. Instead of just putting the parks up for sale....

 

I also wonder if the people that are helping to back the new parks in Dubi arent the new suspected owners of the Busch Park Chain,, if I remember correctly they the Dubi people were putting a large amount of money in to the Busch Dubi projects... So I wonder if there isnt a tie in to this..

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there is no other company out there with the resources and dedication to keeping the parks looking beautiful as they are now.

I completely agree, John. Also, to me, this goes well beyond what many enthusiasts might be thinking about the parks on the surface. The huge concern is that there may not be any suitor out there capable of matching the environmental responsibility AB has shown regarding their unique parks. I hope I'm wrong, but I have my serious doubts.

 

Coaster installations, etc., have always been secondary when I think about SWO and BGT for instance. I think of what it takes to remain a world class animal facility first. It's easy for a company to drop $10 million every few years or so for a new thrill ride to keep the public interested, but it's not easy to build the kind of reputation AB has built and sustained concerning its wildlife programs.

 

^ Johnny, that's an interesting thought about the Dubai group. The money is there. I just hope that if it goes down that suggested path, the management team understands exactly what it's inheriting.

 

For the record, I'm officially worried about this development. Oh, and Matt, when was Sea World ever a "Dump?" Did you mean a specific park, or the chain in general? Just curious.

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This really has scared the shit out of me. Yes, theme parks are considered noncore assets to a brewery, but they make up about 7% of AB's total revenue and had higher attendance than Cedar Fair last year and the year before.

 

I honestly didn't see anything wrong with the way AB was running until InBev came into the picture and all of a sudden are hearing about a "restructuring plan." If it aint broke don't fix it.

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Wow I didn't know InBev is trying to buy americain parks. Feels strange in some way.

 

I'm looking right now at the InBev headquarters from my window here in Leuven and can't stop thinking what is going on in those buildings.

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I wonder how much beer A-B sells in the theme parks alone. Can't be too shabby.
They don't...they GIVE IT AWAY as complimentary beers.

 

j/k...yes, I'm sure they make a decent killing with beer in those places...especially during concert events, etc.

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Oh, and Matt, when was Sea World ever a "Dump?" Did you mean a specific park, or the chain in general? Just curious.

 

I should of been more specific. The Orlando park was pretty rough towards the nineties. My family stopped going to the park (it was usally our first stop on our way to WDW), because my Mother was appaled at the animal conditions, and the park in general.

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How about Merlin?

 

Merlin runs there parks great, don't get me wrong. But A-B's quality is much greater.

I did compare Heide Park to Busch Gardens Europe however and found them very similar quality. But even so, BGE was the stronger of the two.

 

The only company that might be able to pull of owning the A-B parks is Disney. But then one day there wouldn't be affordable.

 

--James

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As a former SeaWorld Orlando employee as well as a shareholder, I hate to see this. It honestly will suck if the parks are sold off. AB does put a lot into the parks, AB III still visits the parks when he can, AB IV likes the fact they operate in the black.

 

If InBev goes to the shareholders, I won't sell. I want to keep AB American, even if their brews are lackluster, they're still a good company who provide us with free beer at the quality parks!

 

Let's hope we continue to see this as we enter the parks!

 

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