Blackstone gets 2.6x return from SeaWorld IPO


SeaWorld killer whaleTheme park SeaWorld Entertainment has raised $702m via Thursday’s IPO, which valued the business at $2.5bn and reportedly giving its private equity backed Blackstone a return of 2.6 times.

SeaWorld is floating 26 million shares at a price of $27 apiece, which was at the top of its planned range of $24 to $27.

SeaWorld shares are set to begin trading on the New York Stock Excahnge today under the symbol SEAS.

The company sold 10 million shares with the balance sold by Blackstone following an increase in the IPO size earlier on Thursday. It previously planned to raise $500m after increasing the size of the float from $100m.

Blackstone, which bought SeaWorld for $2.3bn from brewer Anheuser Busch in December 2009, has made a return of 2.6 times from the share sale, a source told Reuters.

The investment was made from the first’s $21.7bn buyout fund Capital Partners V.

It was previously reported that Blackstone decided to go ahead with the IPO after rejecting takeover offers, two of which came from fellow private equity firms Apollo Global Management and Onex.

It is understood that The Carlyle Group has also approached Blackstone about SeaWorld.

In its 2012 results Blackstone said its private equity portfolio returned $3.5bn to investors.

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