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Thursday, October 8, 2009

SeaWorld, Busch Gardens Sold To Blackstone

Busch Entertainment President Says Sale To Result In New Jobs

Anheuser-Busch InBev sold its theme parks, including SeaWorld in Orlando and Busch Gardens in Tampa, to New York private equity firm Blackstone Group for $2.7 billion on Wednesday.The world's largest brewer has been shedding assets to help pay for its $52 billion buyout of Anheuser-Busch last year.

The two sides confirmed the deal Wednesday, saying Blackstone paid $2.7 billion. Anheuser-Busch also can get up to $400 million more in returns on Blackstone's initial investment.Anheuser-Busch InBev owns 10 amusement parks, including three SeaWorlds, two Busch Gardens and other parks including Aquatica, Discovery Cove, Sesame Place and Adventure Island.

The president of Busch Entertainment said new jobs will be created as a result of the sale."This purchase by Blackstone is to buy BEC as an independent standalone company so we'll retain our own kind of identity," Busch Entertainment President Jim Atchison said.Atchison said there will be no major changes for theme park guests or employees."We have no reductions in force related to this transaction and in terms of management, there will be continuity of management," Atchison said."In terms of melding or commingling of the two, that is not a part of the plan for moving forward," Atchison said.

SeaWorld employees were told the news earlier Wednesday. They've been anxious but they were assured their jobs are safe.Most of the guests WESH 2 News spoke with seemed unfazed by the news. They said as long as the park experience remains the same, it doesn't matter to them who owns SeaWorld.


noor December 2, 2019 at 5:55 PM  

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