Cedar Fair To Aquire Two Iconic Waterparks And A Resort From Schlitterbahn
Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and immersive entertainment, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire two iconic water parks and one resort in Texas – Schlitterbahn Waterpark and Resort New Braunfels and Schlitterbahn Waterpark Galveston for a cash purchase price of $261 million, subject to certain working capital adjustments related to the timing of the closing. Additionally, Cedar Fair has the right to acquire a property located in Kansas City, Kansas, for a cash purchase price of $6 million.
“We are very excited about the opportunity to bring these two award-winning Texas water parks into the Cedar Fair family,” said Richard Zimmerman, Cedar Fair’s president and CEO. “These properties represent new markets for us with attractive demographics in the growing Central Texas region, and they align with our strategy to identify compelling opportunities to accelerate our growth and profitability. The investments we have made over the past five years to strengthen our back-of-house and customer-facing systems will support a smooth integration of these properties by ensuring a premium guest experience, strong team collaboration and superior execution.”
Zimmerman continued, “Schlitterbahn employees are known throughout the industry for their innovation and dedication to the quality of the guest experience. Because of their work, the water park located in New Braunfels has been recognized as the ‘Best Water Park in the World’ for 21 straight years, and Galveston has received recognition as the ‘Best Indoor Water Park in the World’ for a decade. We look forward to adding these parks to Cedar Fair’s industry-leading portfolio of regional entertainment resorts.”
Following the agreement, Schlitterbahn released the following statement:
“For the past 50 years, the Schlitterbahn family has focused all its resources, talent, and energy into building Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts into an iconic Texas brand.
It is now time for the company to enter a new and brighter stage of development and growth.
We have entered into an agreement with Cedar Fair to purchase our interest in both our New Braunfels and Galveston parks and our New Braunfels resort property. Our South Padre waterpark and resort will be owned by one of the Henry families and in time will be re-branded. Corpus Christi will remain a Diamond Beach property.
Cedar Fair is a dynamic, brand-oriented company. Under Cedar Fair’s leadership, the Schlitterbahn brand will have an opportunity to grow and expand like the early days when the sky was the limit. While it’s a difficult decision, after several challenging years, we believe that our team, communities, guests, and fans are going to enjoy what lies ahead. We believe Cedar Fair, with their approach to embracing parks that have a unique footprint, will be a phenomenal owner, and with the talented people that are the Schlitterbahn Family, will take Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts to the next level of world-class family entertainment.
Rest assured, the future of Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts is as bright as a July day in Texas. We will always be your hottest, coolest time in Texas!”
Voted the “Best Water Park in the World” by Amusement Today for 21 consecutive years, Schlitterbahn Waterpark New Braunfels is located on the banks of the spring-fed Comal River in New Braunfels, Texas. A Texas icon of summer, the park features more than 50 attractions and 221 rooms across a wide array of accommodations on more than 70 acres. The park is home to many award-winning rides and innovations, including the world’s first inland surfing ride, the Boogie Bahn, the first wave river, the Torrent, and the six-story Master Blaster Uphill Water Coaster, voted the “Best Water Park Ride in the World” repeatedly.
Schlitterbahn Waterpark Galveston is located just outside of Houston on historic Galveston Island. The park features more than 30 attractions, including the award-winning World’s Tallest Water Coaster, MASSIV, and the next generation, award-winning Transportainment river system that combines three unique rivers into one endless floating adventure. The Wasserfest area of Schlitterbahn Galveston Waterpark, voted the “World’s Best Indoor Water Park” for years, creates an indoor water park retreat for guests year-round. The 70,000 square-foot indoor water park offers more than a dozen heated water adventures. In addition to being an excellent and thrilling destination for summer fun, this park opens early for Spring Break and the indoor water park stays open through the New Year.
In 2018, Cedar Fair entertained 25.9 million guests, reported $1.35 billion in annual net revenues and generated $468 million (35% Adjusted EBITDA margin). The two Texas water parks and the resort entertained 1.2 million guests in 2018 and generated annual revenues of approximately $68 million. Cedar Fair expects the two Texas locations to achieve an Adjusted EBITDA margin in line with Cedar Fair’s standalone results as management implements a number of growth and operational initiatives at the parks over the next two years, reflecting an accretive EBITDA multiple post synergies. Following this transaction, Cedar Fair’s portfolio will consist of 15 parks, resort accommodations totaling more than 2,000 rooms across six parks, more than 600 luxury RV sites across four parks, and two marinas.
In addition to the two Texas properties, Cedar Fair has the right to acquire a third site, located on approximately 40 acres in Kansas City, Kansas, which previously operated as a Schlitterbahn water park, for a cash purchase price of $6 million.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and other customary terms and conditions, and is expected to close during the second quarter of 2019 subject to those approvals and conditions. The Company intends to finance the transaction through additional long-term borrowings. Perella Weinberg Partners is serving as financial advisor to Cedar Fair, and Squire Patton Boggs is providing legal counsel.
This is huge news for Cedar Fair as they did not own any properties in the South until now. This makes owning a Cedar Fair Platinum pass that much sweeter!
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