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Report: SeaWorld Makes $3.4 Billion Takeover Bid for Cedar Fair

Update: Cedar Fair confirms SeaWorld's proposal for review

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It has been reported that SeaWorld Entertainment has made an offer to buy Cedar Fair for around $3.4 billion. This news is still developing and we will update this thread as more information comes in.

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https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-02-01/seaworld-said-to-make-3-4-billion-takeover-bid-for-cedar-fair

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. has offered to buy amusement park owner Cedar Fair for around $3.4 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said.

SeaWorld made a bid of about $60 per unit in cash for Sandusky, Ohio-based Cedar Fair, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The companies are working with advisers on the proposal, the people said. 

Deliberations are ongoing, and it’s unclear if the approach will lead to a transaction, the people said. A representative for Cedar Fair declined to comment, while a spokesperson for SeaWorld didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. 

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Update: Cedar Fair has confirmed that the proposal has been submitted to the Cedar Fair Board of Directors for review.

https://ir.cedarfair.com/news/news-details/2022/Cedar-Fair-to-Review-Unsolicited-Non-Binding-Proposal-From-SeaWorld/default.aspx

Cedar Fair, L.P. (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and immersive entertainment, today confirmed that it has received an unsolicited non-binding proposal from SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc.

Consistent with its fiduciary duties, and in consultation with its independent legal and financial advisors, the Cedar Fair Board of Directors will carefully review and consider the proposal to determine the course of action that it believes is in the best interest of the Company and its unitholders. Cedar Fair unitholders do not need to take any action at this time.

Perella Weinberg Partners L.P. is serving as financial advisor to Cedar Fair and Weil, Gotshal & Manges is serving as legal counsel.

 

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Wasn't SeaWorld having trouble paying their vendors last year?  I seem to remember an article about some of the ride companies filing liens against them.  I find it hard to believe they now have the funds to take over Cedar Fair.

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Update: THE OFFER IS REAL!!

https://ir.cedarfair.com/news/news-details/2022/Cedar-Fair-to-Review-Unsolicited-Non-Binding-Proposal-From-SeaWorld/default.aspx

"Cedar Fair, L.P. (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and immersive entertainment, today confirmed that it has received an unsolicited non-binding proposal from SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc.

Consistent with its fiduciary duties, and in consultation with its independent legal and financial advisors, the Cedar Fair Board of Directors will carefully review and consider the proposal to determine the course of action that it believes is in the best interest of the Company and its unitholders. Cedar Fair unitholders do not need to take any action at this time.

Perella Weinberg Partners L.P. is serving as financial advisor to Cedar Fair and Weil, Gotshal & Manges is serving as legal counsel."

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In all seriousness, I see nothing not to like here. Both chains are similar levels of quality (see: they're both clusterfucks) and both actually compliment eachother's weaknesses reasonably well. I doubt there would be much of a noticeable change from a guest perspective other than probably more aggressive operating calendars (especially at parks like CGA and Carowinds) and some coasters actually running after October.

I would love for someone to explain to be how SEAS is any more f*cked up than Cedar Fair though aside from the total fanboy answer of "THEY OPENED ORION ON TIME!!!1111" or whatever that doesn't matter going forward...

If they turned down a 4 billion dollar offer from SIX in 2019 and accept a 3.4 billion dollar offer in 2022 then l...o...f*cking...l though.

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I think that maybe the only true bummer is maybe Kings Dominion. Being that BGW and KD are about an hour from each other, having them both under the same ownership and BGW already being the stronger park, could spell trouble for KD. I don't think they'd shut it down, but it probably would get much less attention and investment.

I kinda also wonder if SeaWorld would consider selling the smaller CF parks (ValleyFair, Dorney, Worlds of Fun, Michigan's Adventure and the Gilroy Gardens operations contract) to someone in order to help pay for the sale? I can't imagine they have their eyes particularly set on those parks, although if their profitable they could probably just stay the course...

Edit: Forgot to add that I'm just not gonna get my hopes up at this point.

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1 minute ago, swfan1988 said:

I think that maybe the only true bummer is maybe Kings Dominion. Being that BGW and KD are about an hour from each other, having them both under the same ownership and BGW already being the stronger park, could spell trouble for KD. I don't think they'd shut it down, but it probably would get much less attention and investment.

What are they going to do? Sabotage the park by opening it like 6 months later in the year than the Busch park down the road and remove their most popular coaster and replace it with nothing?

That would be ridicu.... oh

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36 minutes ago, VegasBaby said:

Wasn't SeaWorld having trouble paying their vendors last year?  I seem to remember an article about some of the ride companies filing liens against them.  I find it hard to believe they now have the funds to take over Cedar Fair.

Just goes to show that money is not real and is meaningless! 🙃😆

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4 minutes ago, coasterbill said:

What are they going to do? Sabotage the park by opening it like 6 months later in the year than the Busch park down the road and remove their most popular coaster and replace it with nothing?

That would be ridicu.... oh

Cedar Fair was just getting a head start...

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Yeah I don't really have anything bad or good to say about this, seems like new pass offerings in SoCal with Knotts and SWSD could be a really nice option to offer people there.

 

I wonder if any parks would get rebranded? I'm guessing probably not to a SeaWorld park, but maybe Worlds of Fun adds some animal exhibits and becomes a Busch Gardens park? I could see that maybe working. 

 

Is it possible SeaWorld would be interested in building some stand alone branded aquarium attractions to existing Cedar Fair park kind of like SeaLifes? I could see a year round SeaWorld Branded aquarium in Charlotte, Kansas City or Minneapolis potentially being successful. 

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^^My guess on how the parks will be re-branded is that they won't be. The only thing that would even be worth the effort would maybe be a Gilroy Gardens / Sesame Place re-brand but I have no clue what the operating agreement even is with that place...

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2 hours ago, SharkTums said:

I really wanted it the other way around to see Manta become Flight Deck! =)

Kraken--Steel Force Monster

Mako--Blue Steel Vengeance

Ice Breaker--Launched Breaker Zone

Journey to Atlantis--Big Splash Tower

Super Grover's Box Car Derby--Woodstock Express (What else would it be?)

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1 hour ago, kbfbest said:

If this happens I wounder what this would due to Knotts being 2hrs from a Sea World park. 

Obviously they'd have no choice but to close down Knotts. 

 

For the sake of the parks, I hope this doesn't go through. I generally find Busch & SeaWorld parks pretty terrible. Money is always the #1 objective so who knows. 

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Come to think of it, as much as I dislike Busch/SW. I do like intamins. 

 

OK I'd let them buy intamins, but I don't want their food, employees, operating procedures, trash cans etc. Keep those CF. Just let us have intamins. 

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24 minutes ago, BotanicalStig said:

Come to think of it, as much as I dislike Busch/SW. I do like intamins. 

 

OK I'd let them buy intamins, but I don't want their food, employees, operating procedures, trash cans etc. Keep those CF. Just let us have intamins. 

I can't imagine leaving Busch Gardens Williamsburg and thinking "I don't want their food, employees, or operating procedures at Kings Dominion."

I'd love to hear an elaboration on this because I'm genuinely curious.

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