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Blackstone to reduce SeaWorld stake to 46%

21 Nov 2013

SeaWorld killer whalePrivate equity firm Blackstone revealed plans to sell 15m shares in theme park operator SeaWorld, which was floated in April this year.

Blackstone will no longer be a controlling shareholder after reducing its interest to 46 per cent from 63 per cent, the firm said in a statement. Based on SeaWorld’s current share price of $26.47, the stake being sold by Blackstone is worth nearly $400m.

In addition, Sea World is currently in talks with the firm to buy back 1.5m of its shares in the company.

Under New York Stock Exchange regulations, SeaWorld will now have to appoint a majority of independent directors within a year.

Blackstone received a return of 2.6 times from the SeaWorld IPO, which valued the business at $2.5bn.

The firm bought the company for $2.3bn from brewer Anheuser Busch in December 2009 via its $21.7bn buyout fund Capital Partners V.

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