Jump to content
  TPR Home | Parks | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram 

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment (SEAS) Corporate Thread

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

Recommended Posts

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/24/blackstone-sells-stake-in-seaworld-to-chinas-zhonghong-zhuoye.html

 

Takeaways

Blackstone is selling their 21 percent stake in SEAS and Zhongzang Zhuoye gains two seats on the board of directors (which has been increased from 9 -11). Zhongzang Zhuoye is prohibited from owning more than 24.9% of SEAS.

Zhongzang Group would operate any future parks (if added) in China, Macau, Taiwan and Hong Kong with SeaWorld advising.

 

 

Blackstone sells stake in SeaWorld to China's Zhonghong Zhuoye

Friday, 24 Mar 2017 | 9:03 AM ET Reuters

 

China-based Zhonghong Zhuoye Group will buy Blackstone Group's 21 percent stake in SeaWorld Entertainment, the embattled U.S.-based marine park operator said on Friday.

 

SeaWorld said Zhonghong Group would buy the stake for $23 per share, a premium of nearly 33 percent to the stock's close on Thursday.

 

Zhonghong Group — a diversified holding company for investments in real estate, leisure and tourism — will pay about $429 million for the stake, according to Reuters calculations.

 

Blackstone will no longer have any interests or board seats at SeaWorld after the deal closes in the second quarter of 2017.

 

Private equity firm Blackstone, which bought SeaWorld in 2009 for $2.3 billion, has been reducing its stake in the company since taking it public in 2013.

 

SeaWorld faced criticism after the release of the 2013 documentary "Blackfish", which depicted the captivity and public exhibition of killer whales as inherently cruel. The company said last year it would stop breeding killer whales in captivity.

 

The company, which has reported falling revenue for the last three years and a loss last year, suspended dividend payments last year.

 

As part of the deal, SeaWorld will provide advisory services and support for developing theme parks, water parks and family entertainment centers in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, which would be operated by Zhonghong Holding, an affiliate of Zhonghong Group.

 

SeaWorld will also increase the size of its board to 11, including two executives from Zhonghong Group.

 

The agreement also contains restrictions on Zhonghong Group's ability to sell its interest in SeaWorld for a period of two years or acquire more than 24.9 percent of its outstanding shares.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 378
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Kinda surprised no one has commented on this yet. Blackstone sells to a Chinese company. What does that say for where things are current at with SeaWorld? This development should be interesting to say the least...

Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a little discussion over in the SeaWorld Orlando thread but the consensus seemed to be that nobody really any idea what this means.

 

The overseas development should be interesting, I have kind of wondered why they have never attempted a Discovery Cove type park anywhere else yet. I know San Antonio has Discovery Point but that's not really the same thing. Feels like a Discovery Cove type experience could work in a lot of locations around the world and be built for a price tag significantly lower than a whole new SeaWorld park.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn't one of China's parks just open their first Orca exhibit or a Orca breeding center? With all the new theme parks going up I could see Orca shows being a big thing over there where they are unlikely to care about Blackfish.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Kinda surprised no one has commented on this yet. Blackstone sells to a Chinese company. What does that say for where things are current at with SeaWorld? This development should be interesting to say the least...

 

I don't know that it means anything specifically. Blackstone probably prefers exiting the company than staying with it and hoping for SeaWorld to be able to collect license fees from Chinese developers.

 

As for the new orcas thing at Ocean Kingdom: that was the worst held secret of all time. The orcas have been there for at least 3 years after being captured by Russians.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

SeaWorld Entertainment reported a 14.9% drop in attendance this morning with a conference call to follow. I'll have more thoughts after reading through that, but I have to say that for once I'm actually kind of buying their spin and really don't think this is all that terrible.

 

My first thought was that it was absolutely disastrous for the chain. I knew they would blame Easter and they didn't disappoint and I was skeptical that Spring Break and Easter could really account for a 15% drop when you have so many parks in the chain with full year-round operation but evidently they did. Attendance through the end of April is essentially flat over the prior year period.

 

So to summarize what we know so far:

 

- Attendance YTD is pretty much flat. This missed expectations, but realistically I think anything other than a loss for this chain is a win. Their expectations (in my mind) aren't realistic but you can't exactly go to your shareholders and tell them that your goal is to keep attendance flat while per guest spending goes down.

 

- On that note, revenue is likely down YTD but they've cut expenses to the point where they're in better shape than last year. SeaWorld posted a net loss of $61.1 million (72 cents per diluted share), compared to a net loss of $84 million ($1 per diluted share) in the year-ago quarter. Once you factor in April the numbers should look a lot better.

 

- Season pass sales revenues for 2017 are up nearly 6% YTD

 

- Total revenue per capita (total revenue divided by attendance) decreased by 0.6% to $66.41 in the first quarter of 2017 compared to $66.80 in the prior year first quarter, primarily due to a decline in admission per capita (admissions revenue divided by attendance) partially offset by an increase in in-park per capita spending (food, merchandise and other revenue divided by attendance). SO basically, admission costs are down and in-park spending is up. The increase in Season Pass sales likely plays a role here.

 

Overall revenue is down slightly but I'm actually hopeful that they might have a semi-decent year. I consider anything other than a major loss a win for them at this point, I don't think the shareholders feel the same way but these numbers aren't nearly as bad as they appear on the surface.

Edited by coasterbill
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

SeaWorld Parks & Ent. to build another Sesame Place park. Location not determined as of yet.

 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/05/18/seaworld-sesame-street-sesame-place/101822750/

 

Amusement park firm SeaWorld Entertainment said Thursday that it would construct a second theme park based on the popular children's program Sesame Street, hoping for sunny days to sweep away the clouds looming over its operations.

SeaWorld extended its licensing agreement with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit that controls the TV show featuring Elmo, Big Bird, Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch.

The company already runs the Sesame Place theme park in Langhorne, Pa., between New York City and Philadelphia, and that location will remain open. It offers kids roller coasters, water rides, shows, parades, games and interactions with Sesame Street mascots.

The second Sesame Place will be "in a U.S. location to be determined," SeaWorld said. The new theme park will open by mid-2021.

 

The deal comes as SeaWorld is trying to overhaul its image and bolster its bottom line amid declining attendance following its decision to end controversial shows featuring orcas.

The company's new arrangement, which lasts through 2031, also gives SeaWorld the option to build more Sesame Place theme parks after the second location opens.

"We share Sesame's goal of educating and entertaining generations of children, and the extension of our partnership furthers SeaWorld's mission to provide guests with experiences that matter," SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby said in a statement. "We are thrilled to be able to grow the presence of Sesame Place theme parks in the U.S. and help our company diversify its brand portfolio and expand into new areas."

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

David D’Alessandro is out...

SeaWorld stockholders vote off board chairman

SeaWorld’s stock jumped nearly 7 percent during trading Wednesday after shareholders ousted the chairman of the board of directors at its annual shareholders’ meeting.

 

David D’Alessandro, who led the board since 2010, failed to get a majority of votes in an uncontested board election. Some said the move showed investors’ frustration over executive pay.

 

SeaWorld’s stock jumped nearly 7 percent during trading Wednesday after shareholders ousted the chairman of the board of directors at its annual shareholders’ meeting.

 

David D’Alessandro, who led the board since 2010, failed to get a majority of votes in an uncontested board election. Some said the move showed investors’ frustration over executive pay.

 

The move came amid declining revenues and attendance figures for the Orlando theme park in the wake of the documentary “Blackfish” that brought intense opposition to live whale shows.

 

Reuters also reported shareholders were angered by executive pay under D’Alessandro’s tenure after the company disclosed in a securities filing the company would give bonuses to D’Alessandro and other leaders based on SeaWorld’s performance since its 2013 IPO.

 

The board of directors will continue to act in the shareholders’ best interests, SeaWorld said in a statement issued after the meeting.

 

“SeaWorld’s entire Board of Directors has been intensely focused on building value for shareholders by implementing a well-defined plan of fundamental change,” the statement said.

 

D’Alessandro, who was a finance executive, served as SeaWorld’s interim leader from January 2015 through April 2015.

 

Later during Wednesday’s meeting, SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby told shareholders he was optimistic about the park’s future and its intent to move past its old image.

 

“We are focusing with particular intensity on efforts to drive growth across our parks,” Manby said, stressing the company was still “intently focusing” on its bottom line. “We believe that our innovative rides and attractions from 2017 are some of the most exciting in our history.”

 

In Orlando, he pointed to Electric Ocean, a fireworks and music show meant to bring more people to the park during evening hours, and the virtual-reality roller coaster Kraken Unleashed — which opened to passholders Tuesday and is scheduled for a grand opening Friday — on which riders wear headsets covering their ears and eyes.

 

Another major new attraction is the recently announced Sesame Street land, which is set to open by fall 2022 in Orlando.

 

Boyd also stressed it was a pivotal time for the park.

 

“This summer, this year, is the first period where you can say this is fully the work of this management team,” Boyd said. “It’s an important year for this management team.”

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Merlin Hints At Interest In Buying Busch Gardens

 

https://skift.com/2017/08/07/merlin-hints-at-interest-in-buying-seaworlds-busch-gardens/

 

Could UK-based Merlin Entertainments be about to make an attempt to buy Busch Gardens from struggling SeaWorld?

 

Recent reports have suggested that the Florida-headquartered theme park operator has brought in external financial advisers to examine the company, leading to speculation about possible sales and reorganizations.

 

If this does go ahead, Merlin is likely to be one of the companies interested in the assets.

 

Speaking after the company’s first-half results, Merlin chief financial officer Anne-Francoise Nesmes said it was keeping a close eye on Busch Gardens.

 

“It takes two parties to do a deal so we do not know what SeaWorld’s intentions are but we do believe that those assets [busch Gardens] are interesting and we could certainly do a lot with them particularly around accommodation, so to us it’s about having the right discussion with a willing partner and making sure we have the right financial return,” Nesmes said.

 

Merlin’s interest shouldn’t come as a surprise given that one of the six pillars of its current strategy is acquisitions. In 2012 the company acquired Living and Leisure Australia Group to expand into the Asia Pacific region and last year bought a stake in sightseeing company Big Bus Tours.

 

SeaWorld’s many struggles over the last few years have been well documented. Despite planning to phase out the breeding and showing of killer whales, it is still suffering from the damaging legacy of the Blackfish documentary. 2016 was a very bad year for the company.

 

Seaworld is due to update the market next week with its second quarter results, which is when we could find out what it intends to do with the business.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

They destroyed the gardaland and heide park. They are kneeling (thorpe is dead, does not consider it)

If they want to close the busch gardens then buy them as well

Link to post
Share on other sites
Ugh, yeah...as much of a mess Sea World parks are right now I don't see Merlin helping.

 

If Busch Gardens were sold, amdd they shouldn't(there needs to be one in San Antonio based Central and South America) please Jesus let it be to someone like Herschend. Sometimes, I think, when a park that wants to fully immerse you into theming, needs to be privately held. Otherwise, you get the constant pressure of profit, profit, profit that gives us Six Flags. We don't get the quality that you see at SDC and Dolly or the quality you see at Europa, Phantasialand and Efteling. You get the equivalent to McDonalds, Wendy's and Burger King.

 

Herschend would have to get over their aversion to alcohol for Busch parks though as it's well incorporated

Edited by ElvisLuv
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm no expert on mergers and acquisitions but I can't really imagine a company wanting to acquire the SeaWorld properties at this point unless they dramatically change the direction of the parks.

 

And I can't imagine SeaWorld Parks as a whole being willing to sell just the Busch Gardens properties without the SeaWorld properties being part of the package.

 

Should be interesting to follow.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Ugh, yeah...as much of a mess Sea World parks are right now I don't see Merlin helping.

 

Herschend would have to get over their aversion to alcohol for Busch parks though as it's well incorporated

 

I would hate to see anything happen to the craft beer room at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm no expert on mergers and acquisitions but I can't really imagine a company wanting to acquire the SeaWorld properties at this point unless they dramatically change the direction of the parks.

 

And I can't imagine SeaWorld Parks as a whole being willing to sell just the Busch Gardens properties without the SeaWorld properties being part of the package.

 

Should be interesting to follow.

 

And yet Sea World parks do pretty well on lists like tripadvisor. Here's an observation, and this isn't meant as derogatory in any way, people of this board seem to be pretty well tilted left on the political spectrum and are more sensitive to the whole Blackwater thing. I think we place way too much emphasis on the whole Blackfish thing and less on it just being that SeaWorld is in a very tough, crowded market in Orlando. It certainly has had more effect in a place San Diego cause Calfornia is going to California.

 

I know families that have gone to San Antonio on vacation and SeaWorld was a must, yet have been to Orlando a couple of times and didn't do Seaworld. And I ask why and they were just consumed with all things Disney and if they did cheat on the mouse it was to Universal. SeaWorld has to create their customers instead of depending on getting a visit by the Disney crazed. Forget adding on Tampa There's too much other stuff competing for the attention for that free day, outlet malls Fun Stops, Orlando Eyes, time shares with mini water parks, ect. They have to get into the themed up and tied into the park resort business much like Phantasialand.

 

As for Merlin, it's a mixed bag of emotions. First it should be for all of the parks, not just Busch. They are into the on site resort thing but maybe not to the scale of Phantasialand and Efteling. With them Owning Legoland Florida and California. There's some packaging synergy there. They are showing a will to build from the ground up parks in America(see Legoland New York) and there needs to be a Busch Gardens in San Antonio based on Central and South America and one in So California with a Asian flavor. I'very thought that SEAS should mimic the Lego/Sealife combos with a Sesame Street/ SeaWorld model but with hotels with an indoor water park like Great Wolf. Merlin could certainly do that. Gives them some differention wiggle room without over saturating a brand.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Sometimes, I think, when a park that wants to fully immerse you into theming, needs to be privately held. Otherwise, you get the constant pressure of profit, profit, profit that gives us Six Flags.

 

Oh

 

The lack of immersive theming at Six Flags is due to their specific business model, not whether or not they're a private company. Disney and Universal are two of the most well respected theme park brands in the world, both of which are known for their amazing theming and both have publicly traded parent companies. That statement is beyond ridiculous.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Ugh, yeah...as much of a mess Sea World parks are right now I don't see Merlin helping.

 

Herschend would have to get over their aversion to alcohol for Busch parks though as it's well incorporated

 

I would hate to see anything happen to the craft beer room at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

 

Imagine how well micro distillery and/or brewery would mesh with SDC, but that ain't happening. I couldn't imagine Busch Gardens being "dry." That would be the rub.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know enough about Merlin to comment on anything with the but this was my first year with a platinum pass and I have loved all the parks I've been to in the chain so far I had only previously been to SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Williamsburg but went to Busch Gardens Tampa, Adventure Island and Aquatica for the first time and they were all fantastic.

 

I'm not sure we can swing a Florida trip next year cause we have a lot coming up but we'll probably not cancel since we did the monthly payment plan to get locked into the current price and we want to support the parks and we'll at least get down to BGW a few times. Plus it gives us a reason to try to sneak a trip to San Antonio next year lol My girlfriend had never been out of the Disney bubble before our trip this year but she loved SeaWorld and both BG parks.

Link to post
Share on other sites

A very interesting story just came out in the Tampa Bay Times. I won't quote the article as it's a bit long (you can read it here if you want) but Joel Manby has stated that Busch Gardens is not for sale despite the fact that Merlin Entertainment has expressed interest.

 

The article also goes into some more detail about the challenges the company faces outside of the obvious PR problems in the wake of Blackfish.

Link to post
Share on other sites

^ It seems to me that lots of companies would not mind getting their hands on Busch Gardens, especially the Tampa property in a nice year-round market. Merlin has expressed interest and Cedar Fair has said that from an acquisitions standpoint there are few properties left that would fit their standard, but alluded to Busch as being potential targets should they ever become available. Who could blame them, they are both nice, unique super-regional parks that any operator would love to get their hands on. I do believe they should stay in the SEAS chain though as I fear quality would suffer even more under other operators. I am glad they are not for sale. Thanks for the article, it was very interesting.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Not sure if anyone has been discussing this but I've seen on a few sites now that Merlin may want to buy the two Busch Gardens Parks from Sea World Entertainment. Not sure how credible the rumors and reports are but it would be an interesting development. I personally think if they could purchase the entire division of parks it would be beneficial financially for Sea World. However there appears to be a contract clause for Merlin that says they cannot have any Cetaceans (Dolphins, Orcas etc.) So they may not be able to actually but the Aquatic Parks.

 

The other big Curve Ball I see would be the Sesame Street IP and park. The parks all utilize this IP and if one is sold but not the other someone would have to stop using them. Most likely the Busch Parks. It also begs to ask what is done with the Sesame Place Park and possible future parks they want to build.

 

Lots of interesting things could happen depending on what goes down if anything does. Anyone want to throw in their two cents? Once again not sure if this has been discussed but wanted to throw it out there.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • jedimaster1227 changed the title to SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment (SEAS) Corporate Thread

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use https://themeparkreview.com/forum/topic/116-terms-of-service-please-read/