Busch Gardens’ parent SeaWorld may buy Cedar Point, more theme parks
SeaWorld, the parent company of Tampa’s Busch Gardens and Adventure Island, has made a bid to buy Ohio amusement park company Cedar Fair, which would more than double its roster of attractions nationwide.
Cedar Fair confirmed it was considering the unsolicited bid in a news release issued Tuesday, and said its board of directors would review and consider it. Bloomberg reported the offer was for $3.4 billion.
Cedar Fair operates 13 parks across North America, including major attractions like Cedar Point and Kings Island in Ohio, California’s Knott’s Berry Farm, Virginia’s Kings Dominion, Michigan’s Adventure and Canada’s Wonderland; as well as water parks like Texas’ Schlitterbahn.
The blockbuster deal would represent the biggest acquisition since SeaWorld became a public company in 2013. The Orlando company currently operates a dozen parks in five states.
Buying Cedar Fair would represent a major reversal of fortunes for SeaWorld, which posted significant losses during the early months of the pandemic. The company saw an attendance drop of nearly 10 million in 2020, along with a net loss of $312 million. The company will report its 2021 numbers this month; in recent quarters it’s seen fewer guests but higher revenues and earnings compared to 2019.
Both Cedar Fair and SeaWorld stock shot up after markets opened Tuesday. As of 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, SeaWorld stock sat at $60.92 per share, and Cedar Fair stock was at $57.74 per share.