IPOX Schuster LLC


BN: SeaWorld Files to Raise Up to $540 Million in New York IPO

SeaWorld Files to Raise Up to $540 Million in New York IPO (3)
2013-04-09 16:25:30.775 GMT

(Updates with fund manager’s comment in fourth paragraph.)

By Lee Spears and Cristina Alesci
April 9 (Bloomberg) — SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. is
seeking as much as $540 million in a U.S. initial public
offering after owner Blackstone Group LP snubbed offers for the
aquatic theme park operator.
The Orlando, Florida-based company and existing owners will
offer 20 million shares, a 22 percent stake, for $24 to $27
apiece, according to a regulatory filing. The midpoint would
value SeaWorld at $3.98 billion including net debt, data
compiled by Bloomberg show.
Blackstone, the world’s largest private-equity firm, is
opting for an IPO to begin exiting its 2009 investment after
rejecting bids from Apollo Global Management LLC and Onex Corp.,
people familiar with the matter have said. New York-based
Blackstone joins Apollo and other buyout firms in taking
portfolio companies public this year as stocks surge to record
“The perception toward private-equity backed IPOs was
negative up until about last year,” said Josef Schuster, the
founder of Chicago-based Ipox Schuster LLC. “But performance on
some recent offerings has increased investor confidence that
there’s medium to long-term value in these names.”
The $3.98 billion enterprise value sought by SeaWorld is
about 10.1 times the company’s earnings before interest, taxes,
depreciation and amortization of $393.8 million in the 12 months
through December, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Competitor
Six Flags Entertainment Corp.’s ratio is about 13.7 times, the
data show.

SeaWorld History

Blackstone took control of SeaWorld after agreeing in 2009
to buy Anheuser-Busch InBev NV’s amusement-park business in a
deal then valued at as much as $2.7 billion. Blackstone and
affiliated funds, which currently own all of SeaWorld’s equity,
will trim their stake to 74 percent after the offering,
according to the documents.
SeaWorld generated more than $1.4 billion in revenue last
year, with the bulk coming from admission fees. The company
operates almost a dozen parks under names such as SeaWorld,
Sesame Place and Busch Gardens. The company’s parks attracted
more than 24 million customers last year.
SeaWorld’s proceeds from the IPO will be used to reduce
long-term borrowings to about $1.66 billion, filings show. The
company plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the
symbol SEAS. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co.,
Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp., Barclays Plc and Wells
Fargo & Co. are managing the sale.

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