Blackstone-backed SeaWorld files for $100m IPO


Blackstone-backed amusement park operator SeaWorld Entertainment has filed for a $100m public listing amid reports it could target up to $600m.

Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citigroup, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays and Wells Fargo Securities are all listed as underwriters in the filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Details within the filing say Blackstone will keep most of the company’s voting rights following the public listing.

It said Blackstone will have the right to nominate the majority of the board of directors as long as it continues to hold at least 50 per cent of common stock shares.

Although the listed offering is well below the $600m top figure previously reported by Bloomberg, figures in such filings are sometimes just placeholder values and liable to change.

Blackstone bought SeaWorld from Anheuser-Busch InBev in a $2.7bn deal three years ago, when it was known as Anheuser-Busch Entertainment Corporation.

That investment was made from Blackstone Capital Partners V, the firm’s $21.7bn buyout fund raised in 2006.

BCP V had a net IRR of 1.57 per cent and cash multiple of 1.1-times at the end of June, according to date from investors the Washington State Investment Board.

SeaWorld has 10 amusement parks with more than 67,000 animals, including famous complexes in San Diego, Orlando and San Antonio.

Blackstone paid itself a dividend earlier this year by pushing an extra $500m of debt onto the company, Bloomberg added, citing data from Moody’s.

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