Six Flags Won't Pursue REIT Deal, Adds $500 Million To Stock Buyback Plan

By Tomi Kilgore Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Six Flags Entertainment Corp. said Thursday that it has decided not to pursue a spinoff of its real estate assets into a real estate investment trust. The theme park company said it determined that a REIT deal would not be in the best interests of shareholders, given the costs, the operational complexity, the limits on futures strategic flexibility and future growth opportunities. The company said it could revisit the idea in the future. Separately, Six Flags said it expanded its share-buyback plan by $500 million, which it expects to fund with its $1.2 billion debt offering, also announced Thursday. The company said it expects to continue to increase its annual dividend at a high-single-digit to low-double-digit percentage range for a number of years. The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, has lost 2.4% year to date, while the S&P 500 has gained 5.5%.

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