SeaWorld Files to Go Public with $100 Million IPO

Sea World
By MICHELLE CHAPMAN, AP Business Reporter

NEW YORK (AP) - Looks like Shamu may soon be making a splash in the stock market.

The company behind the water shows featuring killer whales, dolphins and other animals at SeaWorld on Thursday said it was planning to go public.

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. filed for an initial public offering of stock with an initial goal of raising $100 million. That number is likely to change as the company's bankers gauge interest from investors.

SeaWorld's owner, Blackstone Group LP, will likely sell some of its stake in the deal. But the private equity firm will still own a majority of the voting power of the company's shares after the IPO, the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

SeaWorld plans to use money from the IPO to pay debt and make a payment to Blackstone.

Blackstone bought SeaWorld from beer brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) in 2009 in a deal worth at least $2.3 billion.

The Orlando, Fla., company did not list a date for the offering. The company also did not say how many shares would be sold, or for how much. SeaWorld plans to use the "SEAS" symbol for its stock, but did not say on which exchange it plans to trade.

Besides the three SeaWorld parks, the company's eight other properties include two Busch Gardens parks and Sesame Place, which is based on the children's TV show Sesame Street.SeaWorld said about 24 million people went to its parks in the 12 months through Sept. 30.

In the first nine months of this year, it earned $86.2 million, up 73 percent from $50 million in the same months a year ago. Revenue rose 7.6 percent to $1.16 billion.

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They need money and hopefully will close up and not humiliate any more fish life by containment.

December 28 2012 at 7:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


December 27 2012 at 11:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

hmmm that deal sounds 'fishy' to me .. be cautious small wallets....obviously they need money and with the economy still bumpy ..I cannot imagine the $100 IPO being a good deal (just my opinion)

December 27 2012 at 11:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply