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Cedar Fair Corporate Development Discussion Thread (FUN)

P. 70: Cedar Fair unveils 2022 operating season plans

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This is very interesting, considering I had heard nothing of Cedar Fair even being sold before this. I really like what CF has done for Kings Dominion, but I really don't want to make my opinion on Apollo until they actually get in the driver's seat and start making decisions.

 

I'm not entirely sure what some of the fans of the former Paramount Parks are complaining about with CF. In 3 years, CF has completely rejuvenated those parks. Three got B&M hypers, and another got one of the best floorless coasters in the world and an Intamin giga. So what's the beef? Before CF, KD, KI, and CW had ZERO B&M's and ONE Intamin. Those were Paramount's three flagship parks and they had one combined coaster from the two premier coaster designers of the last 15 years.

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I'm not entirely sure what some of the fans of the former Paramount Parks are complaining about with CF. In 3 years, CF has completely rejuvenated those parks. Three got B&M hypers, and another got one of the best floorless coasters in the world and an Intamin giga. So what's the beef? Before CF, KD, KI, and CW had ZERO B&M's and ONE Intamin. Those were Paramount's three flagship parks and they had one combined coaster from the two premier coaster designers of the last 15 years.

My beef is that they may have added "big rides" but they have really sucked some of the "atmosphere" out of Kings Dominion, Carowinds, Kings Island, and Great America, IMO.

 

For whatever reason Canada's Wonderland didn't seem much differet, and I'd say probably the biggest offender was Kings Dominion, but all of these parks I used to frequent at least once per year (KD and CGA probably 4-5 times per year) and while they may have been lacking a B&M or other major rides, they really did seem to have a "pulse."

 

Last year visiting KD and this year visiting CGA I found the parks to be more "lifeless" than ever before.

 

Not sure why, but they really seemed to lack much excitement. And not with the rides, just with the entire park in general.

 

Carowinds and Kings Island weren't as bad, but I've noticed this there too since the Cedar Fair takeover.

 

--Robb

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^Interesting. Sadly enough, I haven't been to KD or Carowinds since the takeover (worked at Carowinds in 2006 while they were in the process of buying it, but no full-fledged change happened till 2007). KD is also my home park, making it even more tragic that I haven't been in over 3 years. I'll obviously be heading to both parks next year for the Intimidators, so maybe I'll see what you're talking about.

 

**I do think that losing Nickelodeon will hurt the Paramount Parks because Nick is a lot more pertinent these days than Snoopy, but what can ya do?

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Since Apollo owns AMC, I wonder if I will get free movies with my Platinum Pass (I can dream, can't I).

 

I find this interesting news as we recently purchased a racetrack near Cleveland. Ohio, as many know, is close to legalizing gaming, so I imagine its a prudent move to get a strong footing there.
^^ Hmmm ... Cedar Point Hotel and Casino has a nice ring to it. I'd be up for a visit!!!

The problem with that is the new gambling law only allows for four gambling licenses. There will be a casino going to each of Ohio's four major cities (Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Toledo).

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So...this company just buys other companies? And then...runs them? That's their whole purpose as a company?

 

Private equity firms, in theory, can have an advantage in that they don't have to run everything to look good for stockholders. In other words, they can try more long term strategies and not have to worry about Wall Street punishing them for a bad quarter or two.

 

From the WSJ article:

 

Apollo, which trades on a private exchange operated by Goldman Sachs Group, is expected to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange early next year.

 

Of course this deal is all dependent on shareholder approval. Assuming the information in the article is correct, 700 million would be about 12.67 per share. Less than the 52 week high and far less than what it was way back in 2007 (and about half what I paid for it).

 

And I hate to break it to all you people ready to kick Kinzel to the curb: new owners doesn't necessarily mean new management. This isn't a hostile takeover so part of the negotation may involve certain people getting new positions with Apollo. And since Apollo doesn't have any park experience, it would make since to keep the old management team in place.

 

EDIT: Almost forgot, it MIGHT be a stock-for-stock transaction (since Apollo will be on the NYSE soon) but a cash only deal is also possible.

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I can say for myself I almost fell out of my chair when I got the email from Cedar Fair investor relations " CEDAR FAIR AGREES TO BE ACQUIRED BY AFFILIATE OF APOLLO GLOBAL MANAGEMENT "

 

 

I am surprised yet considering the debt load that CF is under I can't say I didn't think a buyout or serious restructuring would happen, especially since CF announced they would be suspending dividends for 2010 and possible sales of a few of their parks to reduce debt.

 

As far as my shares are concerned I am indifferent, I'll be happy take the cash, or I will accept shares of Apollo. I have not shoveled a ton of money in shares.... I started buying when the shares were down to around $6.

 

 

Coming from experience working for a local company that was purchased by a larger company with virtually no experience owning and operating a bank, we did not see "major" changes until about a year and a half to two years after the merger.

 

IMO I really don't think it's time to speculate closure and liquidation of parks. If that were to happen it would be after Apollo really gets their hands dirty in the newly aquired company.

 

 

I've already planned to visit KD, CP, KI, and KBF next year, this aquisition will not change my plans by no means.

 

I honestly think all will be okay, I'd like to think that CF is looking out for what is best for its parks, employees, and shareholders......but I could be wrong....

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I'm with you on this, I actually love the Cedar Fair chain. I just think they're very balanced amusement parks, but I'm really uneasy about this deal, we'll just have to see.

 

While I certainly respect your opinion to like what you like..."balanced"?

 

A good mix of coasters and trash cans, perhaps?

 

/Cedar Point is like Wolverine.

//Figure that one out.

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I love the "Forward-Looking Statements" section. We believe that we should be able to turn this company around, but we cannot predict the future and you cannot hold us liable if these statements do not become true.

 

I think the unbelievable thing is the amount of turnover the past couple of years have brought in the industry.

 

Six Flags sells off numerous properties to Parc Management.

Busch Entertainment goes to Blackstone.

Cedar Fair to Apollo.

 

There are always opportunities out there, and though recessions generally hurt everyone, they do bring about a lot of change and hope.

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What's funny to me is that after all the speculation that Six Flags, SFMM specifically, was going to be sold, we've seen Busch, Universal, and now Cedar Fair all sold first!

 

There'll probably be some consolidation, but I think what we'll see the most of are actions meant to secure a lasting profitability and viability of CF's properties. To describe a park like Cedar Point as "as good as gone" would be a gross exaggeration at this point.

 

Knott's will likely benefit greatly due to its ability to be open year-round, and its proximity to Disneyland makes it an attractive potential recepient of major investment in the eternal struggle for marketshare. It'll be very interesting to see what this means for the future of KBF.

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This just puts a real cap on the year. Perhaps I can say outside of Disney the industry has seen some really big knots at least in the last 6 months: Six Flags claims Chapter 11, Busch Entertainment sold as result of a Anheuser-InBev merger, and now this to cap it. I know the Busch scenario doesn't really tie in but the point is the changes that are occurring.

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^ I would think Cedar Fair would retain thier brand... considering the other companies Apollo own such has Harrah's still have the same brand just owned by a different investment group....

 

 

what would be interesting is if a new coaster war were to break out between KBF and SFMM.

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^^ I don't think there would be a "coaster war" between Knott's and SFMM. Knott's just doesn't have the room for that many coasters of a large size.

 

Regarding Cedar Fair being bought out, I'm still not sure whether to be excited or scared. I'm excited for the improvements that may come, but I'm also hesitant... for some reason I can't put my finger on. I think it's the idea of change that's keeping me kind of unsure about this whole deal, wether it's good or band change, if that made any sense at all.

 

Either way, it will be interesting to see how this all turns out.

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My beef is that they may have added "big rides" but they have really sucked some of the "atmosphere" out of Kings Dominion, Carowinds, Kings Island, and Great America, IMO.

 

Do not disagree with this, but I thought the bigger change( for the negative) was when Paramount took over Kings Island.

 

So each unit holder gets 11.50 per, but how many trash cans would this equate to?

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