Thursday, July 18, 2024

SeaWorld offers $3.4 billion to acquire Cedar Fair

by Joe Kleiman

February 1, 2022 — Today, Cedar Fair Entertainment Company announced that it has received an unsolicited non-binding proposal from SeaWorld Entertainment to acquire the theme park operator. Although Cedar Fair did not disclose details of the offer, Ed Hammond, citing unnamed sources in a report for Bloomberg, listed it at $60 per unit in cash, or $3.4 billion.

Cedar Fair currently owns and operates seventeen theme park and waterpark properties and eleven hotels and campgrounds throughout the United States and Canada. SeaWorld Entertainment owns and operates twelve theme parks and waterparks throughout the United States, operating under the brands SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, Sesame Place, Water Country USA, Adventure Island, Aquatica, and Discovery Cove. A new SeaWorld park is scheduled to open next year in Abu Dhabi under a licensing agreement with Miral.

This marks the second attempt made by Scott Ross, SeaWorld’s largest shareholder and current Chairman, to acquire Cedar Fair. Prior to his current investment in SeaWorld, while Ross was at asset management firm Apollo Global Management, he was part of a team that solicited a $635 million takeover bid for the Ohio-based theme park operator in 2009. Without the 2/3 shareholder approval needed, the offer was declined and Cedar Fair paid Apollo $6.5 million in reimbursement fees for expenses incurred.

Regarding the current offer, Cedar Fair issued the following statement: “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.”


California’s Great America, California

Canada’s Wonderland, Ontario

Carowinds, North/South Carolina

Cedar Point, Ohio

Dorney Park, Pennsylvania

Kings Dominion and Soak City, Virginia

Kings Island, Ohio

Knott’s Berry Farm, California

Michigan’s Adventure, Michigan

Valleyfair, Minnesota

World of Fun/Oceans of Fun, Missouri

Cedar Point Shores, Ohio

Kott’s Soak City Waterpark, California

Schlitterbahn New Braunfels, Texas

Schlitterbahn Galveston, Texas

Cedar Point Sports Center, Ohio

Sports Force Parks, Ohio


SeaWorld San Diego, California

SeaWorld San Antonio, Texas

SeaWorld Orlando, Florida

Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Virginia

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Florida

Sesame Place Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Sesame Place San Diego, California

Water Country USA, Virginia

Adventure Island, Florida

Aquatica San Antonio, Texas

Aquatica Orlando, Florida

Discovery Cove, Florida

Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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