Public can soon own stock in Busch Gardens

By thestoneteam • January 2nd, 2013

Busch Gardens Stock will soon be Open to the Public

Blackstone Group announced Dec. 27 that it will take SeaWorld Entertainment public.

Blackstone Group announced Dec. 27 that it will take SeaWorld Entertainment public.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg, VA – Anyone who has ever wanted to own their own amusement park will get the chance to own a piece.

Blackstone Group announced Dec. 27 that it will take SeaWorld Entertainment public in hopes of raising up to $100 million from the initial public offering. It’s the parent company of Busch Gardens and Water Country USA.

The proceeds are planned to pay down debt and to make a payment to Blackstone, which bought the company from Anheuser-Busch InBev in 2009. Blackstone will retain a controlling interest in the company.

Blackstone’s filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission comes in support of the IPO and gives an intriguing glimpse inside SeaWorld’s business and by extension the other theme parks.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, SeaWorld relies heavily on its Florida parks, which include Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. They generate 56% of the total company revenue, with three parks in Orlando contributing most of that.

The company brings in an average of $58.43 in revenue for each ticket sold. Fully 62% of company revenues come from ticket sales, with the balance in food and merchandise. In the year ending Sept. 30, the company took in $444 million in food and beverages, which it paid $99 million for, according to Bloomberg, the financial news service.

During that period the parks drew 24 million visitors.

The filing also shows that SeaWorld’s capital spending went up after Blackstone purchased the company. SeaWorld spent $225 million on capital improvements in 2011, when it opened new attractions in eight of 10 parks. At Busch Gardens Williamsburg two major new rides, Mach Tower and Verbolten, have gone in since the purchase. Water Country USA has added several new slides.

.Copyright © 2012, Virginia Gazette


About Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens Williamsburg opened May 16, 1975. With its European theme, the park was originally tagged “The Old Country.” Attractions at Busch Gardens include The Curse of DarKastle, Alpengeist, Escape from Pompeii, Apollo’s Chariot, Loch Ness Monster, and Griffon. Added in 2007, the Griffon coaster has bragging rights as the tallest dive coaster in the U.S.  Busch Gardens is divided into seven sections, each themed to a different European country. On July 25, 2009, Busch Gardens announced that the Big Bad Wolf roller coaster would be retired September 7, 2009, after 25 years of operation due to its “meeting the end of its service life.” and was replaced with Verbolten – a New Multiple Launch Coaster that opened in 2012. Newly added in 2009 was “Christmas Town,” A Busch Gardens Celebration, with many themed holiday attractions and shows with 5 million lights and a 50′ Light Animated Christmas Tree. Also in 2010, the 3-D ride Corkscrew Hill was replaced by Europe in the Air. Also New for 2010 was illumiNights: A Busch Garden Encore, with many Mini nightly country shows and nightly fireworks set to a special soundtrack which is available during the special event in many gift shops. In 2010, Busch Gardens announced a drop tower called the Mäch Tower which was set to open in late Spring 2011 but was delayed due to train problems from Italy and opened in August 2011. On September 17, 2011, more information was given on the new multi-launching roller coaster called Verbolten that opened in spring of 2012 in the old Big Bad Wolf location.

Virginia’s most popular vacation spot, Busch Gardens, is an action-packed theme park with 17th-century charm and 21st-century technology.

The European countries of England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Germany and Italy with in Busch Gardens serve as the setting for what is known as the world’s most beautiful theme park. Home to more than 50 rides, roller coasters and attractions, Busch Gardens also offers a wide variety of culinary experiences, world-class shopping, and exciting live shows. And this year, we debut an all-new, multi-launch, indoor-outdoor roller coaster called Verbolten. You’ll have to ride it to believe it.


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