SeaWorld Files to Go Public

4798SeaWorld Entertainment, the Blackstone Group-controlled theme park operator famous for its killer whales, filed for an initial public offering on Thursday.
Under the terms of the listing, Blackstone, which bought the theme park group from Anheuser-Busch InBev in 2009 for around $2.7 billion, will keep a majority of the voting rights in SeaWorld. The company did not provide a specific timeline for the I.P.O.

In the filing, SeaWorld said the offering would raise as much as $100 million, but that was a figure used to calculate the registration fee and could change. Reuters reported this month that the offering could raise as much as $600 million, citing unnamed sources.

SeaWorld is one of the largest entertainment park operators in the United States after the Walt Disney Company. It operates 11 theme parks in the nation, including the Busch Gardens parks in Williamsburg, Va., and in Tampa, Fla., and Sesame Place in Langhorne, Pa., as well as Sea World parks in Orlando, Fla., San Diego and San Antonio. The company says it has "the largest group of killer whales in human care," with 28.

Source: The New York Times Dealbook | MARK SCOTT

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