Cedar Fair says it's reviewing a takeover offer from SeaWorld that's reportedly worth $3.4 billion

Key Points
  • Cedar Fair confirmed Tuesday that it had received an unsolicited proposal from SeaWorld Entertainment.
  • The company says that it is reviewing the bid, which is reportedly worth $3.4 billion.
  • Cedar Fair opened Tuesday at $50 per share and rose to $54.51 before trading was halted for news.

In this article

Visitors at Knott's Berry Farm ride the HangTime rollercoaster during it's first day of public operation in Buena Park on Friday, May 11, 2018.
Jeff Gritchen | Orange County Register | Getty Images

Cedar Fair said Tuesday that it is reviewing an unsolicited proposal it received from SeaWorld Entertainment to buy out the company.

Bloomberg, which first reported the news, said the offer was worth $3.4 billion. The news sent shares of the theme park owner up 10%, before trading was halted. When trading resumed, Cedar Fair's stock rose more than 15% and hit a 52-week high of $57.55. The stock closed the day at $56.25, up 13%.

In a press release, Cedar Fair didn't disclose details of SeaWorld's proposal. The company said it is consulting with legal and financial advisors about the offer.

Cedar Fair is one of the largest regional theme park operators in the world, with a market cap of $2.82 billion. For comparison, SeaWorld has a market cap of $4.6 billion.

Cedar Fair's properties include traditional amusement parks like California Great America, Cedar Point, Carowinds and Kings Dominion, as well as water parks, like Schlitterbahn, and two sports complexes. The company also operates 11 hotels.

Both SeaWorld and Cedar Fair, like others in the amusements industry, were hit hard during the pandemic.

In 2019, Cedar Fair's stock averaged around $50 apiece, but its share price crumpled to $13 in March 2020, when the entire industry was forced to shutter locations. Shares have since rebounded as parks have reopened and Cedar Fair has reported strong attendance and customer spending.

SeaWorld, which also owns Busch Gardens, made a bid of around $60 per share for Cedar Fair, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Similarly, SeaWorld was averaging $30 to $35 per share in 2019, but saw its share price dip to $8 to $10 during the early days of the pandemic. On Tuesday, the company's shares were up about 4%, or about $62 per share.

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