SeaWorld IPO Set for 20M Shares at $24-$27

By FOXBusiness

SeaWorld Entertainment said on Tuesday it expects to price its initial public offering of 20 million shares at $24 to $27 a share.

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The details were announced a day after the amusement park operator said it is eyeing an IPO of up to $500 million. When the company filed its initial paperwork in December, it was expecting an IPO of up to $100 million.

SeaWorld plans to sell 10 million shares, while owner Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX) will sell the other 10 million. Blackstone, which bought the company in 2009 for $2.3 billion, will remain SeaWorld’s majority shareholder.

The filing added that an underwriter’s option could add an additional 3 million shares, meaning the IPO could raise up to $621 million.

Orlando-based SeaWorld, which will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SEAS, plans to use proceeds from the IPO to pay down debt and cover other corporate expenses.

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The company owns 11 parks, including Busch Gardens and namesake SeaWorld, and a total of 67,000 animals. For 2012, SeaWorld reported $1.42 billion in revenue and a profit of $77.4 million, well above its $19.1 million profit in the prior year.