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Great America for Sale?

In a surprise move, SeaWorld Entertainment submitted a bid to buy the parent company of California’s Great America, Cedar Fair, on Feb. 1.

According to Bloomberg, SeaWorld offered $3.4 billion to purchase Cedar Fair. The bid was unsolicited.

In a news release, Cedar Fair said its Board of Directors will “carefully review and consider the proposal to determine the course of action that it believes is in the best interest of the Company.”

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A spokesperson for Great America says that the company is “full steam ahead” for operations and business at all its parks. Preparations for the 2022 season are expected to continue as planned.

Great America closed in 2020 because of COVID-19. It used the time to revamp Boomerang Bay into South Bay Shores in time to open for the 2021 season. Great America operated for the entire 2021 season and required reservations for park attendees. South Bay Shores also needed reservations. It operated during the weekends and some weekdays throughout the summer season.

There is no timeline for when Cedar Fair’s Board of Directors will respond to the takeover bid.

If the company accepts the bid, this will not be the first time Great America has changed hands. Great America was built in 1976 by the Marriott Corporation. Paramount took over the park in 1992 and sold it to Cedar Fair in May of 2006. In 2007, the company changed the name of the park to California’s Great America.

Cedar Fair is a publicly-traded company. According to Bloomberg, shares of the company were $57.55 per unit when the bid was issued. The bid values each unit at $60 per share.

That’s less than the approximately $70 per share offered to Cedar Fair in 2019 when Six Flags issued a $4 billion offer to purchase the company. Cedar Fair’s Board of Directors rejected the offer.

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