Blackstone Eyes $100M SeaWorld IPO

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Published December 27, 2012

| FOXBusiness

Shamu just got financially savvy.

SeaWorld's skilled dolphins and orcas will soon become far more than just a source of entertainment as Blackstone (BX) looks to garner investor interest in a $100 million initial public offering for SeaWorld Entertainment.

The parent of a suite of amusement parks including Busch Gardens and Sesame Place filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday night for the offering of common stock.

Blackstone bought SeaWorld two years ago from Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) for $2.7 billion.

During the 12 months ended Sept. 30, SeaWorld hosted more than 24 million guests in its theme parks and generated an estimated 5.6 billion impressions through television and digital platforms. The company, which operates five of the top 20 theme parks in the U.S. as measured by attendance, reported revenues of $1.16 billion in the nine months ended Sept. 30.

“Our strong revenue and operating performance and stable profit margins, combined with our disciplined approach to capital expenditures and working capital management, enable us to generate strong and recurring cash flow,” the entertainment company said in the filing.

A source close to the deal told Dow Jones that SeaWorld has hired Goldman Sachs (GS) and J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM) to lead the offering.

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