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SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment (SEAS) Corporate Thread

P. 15: SeaWorld Abu Dhabi construction now 40% complete

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http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/breakingnews/os-sea-world-files-to-sell-stock-20121227,0,5925649.story

 

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SeaWorld is going public.

 

Orlando-based SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment filed plans Thursday to sell up to $100 million worth of public shares.

 

The company would operate under a new name, SeaWorld Entertainment Inc., and trade under the symbol "SEAS."

 

Private-equity giant Blackstone Group, which bought SeaWorld in late 2009 for approximately $2.5 billion, would retain a controlling stake in SeaWorld.

 

The IPO comes as SeaWorld's finances continue to rebound from the global recession. Operating profit ballooned 34 percent to $229 million through the first nine months of this year, according to a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

 

Total revenue was up 7.6 percent to nearly $1.2 billion during the same period. The company's 11 U.S. parks drew 19.9 million people through Sept. 30, up 4.3 percent. SeaWorld said its parks have drawn more than 24 million visitors over the last full year period.

 

The company says the gains have been driven in large part by its three SeaWorld marine parks in Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio and Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Virginia.

 

A company spokesman declined to comment.

 

A portion of the proceeds from the initial public offering would be used to make a one-time payment to Blackstone, which put down $975 million in cash when it bought SeaWorld from Anheuser-Busch InBev and financed the remainder with debt. The firm also took dividend payments totaling $610 million out of SeaWorld in 2010 and 2011, meaning it has already earned back more than two-thirds of its initial investment.

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Pretty mixed feelings here. Once you have investors to cater to a lot of priorities tend to shift and the finer details take the back seat. If you worked at cedar point over the last ten years you know exactly what I mean.

 

Any theories someone with good business knowledge can put out there to explain some reasons this is taking place?

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In Germany we had some American/British "Investment Companies" taking over German companies which were running okay and nearly first - or second - thing thing the new management did was to force the taken over company to take huge debts and pay it to the investor. Next thing was demanding a 10% revenue each year. So today "American/British Investors" have a quite bad reputation here now - mostly called "Locust Investors". Most companies here even prefer to sell out to China - but ain't really sure that's much better...

 

I don't know about the main Sea World investor but hope it'll remain the operations running on the long turn...

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Pretty mixed feelings here. Once you have investors to cater to a lot of priorities tend to shift and the finer details take the back seat. If you worked at cedar point over the last ten years you know exactly what I mean.

 

Any theories someone with good business knowledge can put out there to explain some reasons this is taking place?

 

Kind of like how Comcast and Disney are spending record amounts of money on their parks because the theme park divisions are doing so well?

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It is simply business. Seaworld is offering stock to raise capital. What they do with that capital is up to the board. It maybe to pay Blackstone part of their investment back. More likely it would be money to fund business expenses. I'm pretty sure they will invest the money in the parks in the hopes to attract more attendance thus more revenue. Blackstone is in the business of entertainment, I don't see them dumping off their investment.

 

The reason Disney decided to invest in the parks in these huge expansions because that is what you do during down economies. The interests in borrowing money are low, so you take advantage of the market and borrow as much money is needed to invest in your product. When the economy becomes better, people will come and spend money. And if you built something cool, millions upon millions of people will come. This is what Disney is doing.

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I can only hope they are using this IPO to keep aggressively expanding...I'd hate to see Blackstone using Sea World as nothing more than an ATM.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It appears that documents relating to the soon-to-be public offering of the company have revealed details regarding Antarctica's icon penguin, as well as expansion and celebrations planned for 2014 and 2015 for the 50th anniversary of the company and its SeaWorld brand.

 

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/tourism/os-cfb-tourism-1231-20121230,0,174681.story

 

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc.'s preliminary filing for a $100 million public stock offering offers the most detailed glimpse to date of the Orlando company's finances.

 

SeaWorld, for instance, earned $58.43 for every visitor that clicked through one of its theme-park turnstiles during the first nine months of this year. That was up 3.1 percent from the first three quarters of 2011.

 

Just under two-thirds of that amount — 62 percent — came from ticket sales, which averaged $34.91 a person. That was up 3 percent from a year ago, driven primarily by higher prices. SeaWorld Orlando alone raised its base prices twice in 2012, though the second increase didn't take effect until Nov. 1.

 

Sales of food, drinks and merchandise accounted for a much smaller portion of SeaWorld's sales (38 percent), but they also grew slightly faster. That spending rose 3.3 percent to $22.39 a person, which SeaWorld attributed to higher prices and additional products such as its "All-Day Dining" packages.

 

According to the filing, SeaWorld relies heavily on its Florida parks, which include Busch Gardens Tampa Bay; they generate 56 percent of its total revenue, with its three Orlando parks contributing the bulk of that.

 

Capital spending surges

 

The filing also shows just how much SeaWorld's capital spending jumped after the Blackstone Group purchased the company from Anheuser-Busch InBev.

 

SeaWorld did a company record $225 million in capital spending in 2011, when it opened new attractions in eight of 10 parks. That was twice the $112 million it had spent in 2010, and followed a period in which InBev management had slashed the company's capital budget by more than half.

 

Analysts estimate that SeaWorld's previous capital-spending peak came in 2007, when it spent approximately $176 million.

 

The company's construction spending has declined somewhat this year — dropping about 5 percent to $155 million through Sept. 30 — though it remains far above 2010 levels. The company is preparing to open Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin this spring, which it calls the largest expansion in SeaWorld Orlando's history.

 

That doesn't include approximately $167 million SeaWorld spent this year to buy a water park in Chula Vista, Calif., which will become the company's third Aquatica.

 

Meet Puck the Penguin

 

The document also offers a small peek at some of the company's future plans.

 

For instance, as part of the opening of Antarctica, SeaWorld also plans to introduce a new animated penguin character named "Puck." The character will be promoted across multiple platforms — including in-park souvenirs, mobile gaming and other consumer products — as SeaWorld attempts to build another widely recognized mascot alongside "Shamu" the killer whale.

 

In addition, SeaWorld is planning extensive additions in 2014 and 2015 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the company and its "SeaWorld" brand. Plans include "a variety of new events, attractions, decors and musical features" that will be added at the three SeaWorld marine parks in Orlando, San Diego and San Antonio.

 

The company says it will add multiple "major new attractions," such as the recently announced "Explorer's Reef" project at SeaWorld San Diego.

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Hopefully Antarctica will be making its way to San Diego if they are really going to be pushing the Puck character. Would fit perfect replacing Wild Artic and the Penguin exhibit in the back of the park.

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^Yeah, I wouldn't be surprised to see that attraction eventually end up in San Diego and San Antonio if it's successful. I'm really excited to see what the new additions for 2014 and 2015 are going to be. SeaWorld is slowly turning into one of the best parks in Orlando so I'm sure the new additions will be fantastic.

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Hopefully Antarctica will be making its way to San Diego if they are really going to be pushing the Puck character. Would fit perfect replacing Wild Artic and the Penguin exhibit in the back of the park.

Not to count the chickens before they hatch here, but I could see them doing that to compete against Potter and Disneyland's rumored Iron Man E-Ticket for 2015. Like you said it's perfect. They could keep the entire Antarctica theme and exhibits and just rework the building to make it fit for Empire. Sea World SD finally has a nice coaster, now it needs a legitimate dark ride!

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Reuters is reporting that Apollo and Six Flags are interested in acquiring SeaWorld properties. Personally, I'd rather see the company go public. I don't want to see a repeat of Six Flags taking on too much debt and I just don't trust Apollo Group as an operator.

 

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/17/us-seaworld-sale-idUSBRE90G12920130117?feedType=RSS&feedName=innovationNews&rpc=43

 

Apollo, Six Flags explore SeaWorld buyout

 

By Soyoung Kim and Olivia Oran

NEW YORK | Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:59pm EST

 

NEW YORK (Reuters) - SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, which is exploring a sale, has attracted early buyout interest from private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC (APO.N) and amusement park operator Six Flags Entertainment Corp (SIX.N), according to three people familiar with the matter.

 

Orlando, Florida-based SeaWorld, controlled by private equity firm Blackstone Group LP (BX.N), filed for an initial public offering in December but is also in talks with potential buyers in what is known as a "dual track" process, Reuters reported previously.

 

Apollo, which got into the resort and leisure business with its $262 million acquisition of Great Wolf Resorts in 2012, and Six Flags, the largest regional theme park operator in the world, are among several potentially interested parties, according to the sources.

 

The process is largely limited to a small group of industry players that have experience in the sector, one source said.

 

A deal could value SeaWorld, known for its killer whale mascot Shamu, at about $4 billion, based on the financials of its publicly listed peers, such as Six Flags and Cedar Fair LP (FUN.N).

 

Blackstone acquired SeaWorld from beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev SA (ABI.BR) for $2.3 billion in December 2009, according to Blackstone's website.

 

Blackstone and Apollo declined to comment, while Six Flags was not immediately available. The sources asked not to be named because the process is not public.

 

A public offering for SeaWorld remained the more likely route since it would come at a time when shares for amusement park operators are trading at healthy levels, one source said.

 

Established operators in the U.S. theme park industry host about 315 million visitors per year and have proven resilient in a weak economy as parents still turn to them for family vacations.

 

SeaWorld owns 11 theme parks, including those with the SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Sesame Place brands, and cares for more than 67,000 animals.

Edited by robbalvey
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If Six Flags acquires the SeaWorld parks, we can definitely expect more concrete, parking lot-located exhibits, and maybe even a "new" Boomerang!

Edited by Intaman
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  • jedimaster1227 changed the title to SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment (SEAS) Corporate Thread

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