Zhonghong Group snaps up Blackstone’s shares in SeaWorld with plans to bring brand to China | attractionsmanagement.com news
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Zhonghong Group snaps up Blackstone’s shares in SeaWorld with plans to bring brand to China
POSTED 24 Mar 2017 . BY Alice Davis
SeaWorld's new investors could be bringing elements of the brand to China, Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan Credit: SeaWorld Discovery Point
SeaWorld Entertainments biggest shareholder, Blackstone, is selling its 21 per cent stake in the theme park operator to a Chinese investors Zhonghong Zhuoye Group.

The deal, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, includes an agreement that SeaWorld will exclusively advise Zhonghong Group on the design and development of future themed entertainment destinations, including theme parks, waterparks and FECs, in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.

“Zhonghong Group is making a significant, long-term investment in SeaWorld, reflecting their appreciation of the strength of our brand, our potential to grow the company and a shared commitment to protect wildlife and the environment,” said SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby.

“Zhonghong Group has a strong track record of performance in the leisure and travel industries, and a solid management team with valuable experience in theme parks, family entertainment and real-estate development in Asia.”

Earlier this month, Manby said financial discipline was a top priority for the embattled operator, after end of year results saw both revenue and attendance decline on 2015 figures.

The deal will also see two Zhonghong Group executives joining SeaWorld’s board of directors, Yoshikazu Maruyama, president of the firm’s US operations, and chief strategy officer Wang Yongli, who will offer “substantive expertise in global themed entertainment and business development in China”.

Blackstone, who bought SeaWorld for US$2.3bn in 2009, is selling to Zhonghong Group at a price of US$23.00 per share. The New York-based investment firm took SeaWorld Entertainments public in 2013, but has reduced its stake in the years since.

“We are delighted to engage with SeaWorld to bring this iconic, world-class family entertainment brand to China. SeaWorld’s commitment to inspiring guests to protect animals and our oceans is increasingly relevant to people all around the world,” said Maruyama.

“Zhonghong Group hopes to contribute our experience and resources in global tourism and project development to enhance long-term value to all of SeaWorld's shareholders. We look forward to a highly collaborative relationship and to serve as a key partner to grow its business and further its mission.”
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NEWS
Zhonghong Group snaps up Blackstone’s shares in SeaWorld with plans to bring brand to China
POSTED 24 Mar 2017 . BY Alice Davis
SeaWorld's new investors could be bringing elements of the brand to China, Macau, Hong Kong and Taiwan Credit: SeaWorld Discovery Point
SeaWorld Entertainments biggest shareholder, Blackstone, is selling its 21 per cent stake in the theme park operator to a Chinese investors Zhonghong Zhuoye Group.

The deal, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, includes an agreement that SeaWorld will exclusively advise Zhonghong Group on the design and development of future themed entertainment destinations, including theme parks, waterparks and FECs, in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.

“Zhonghong Group is making a significant, long-term investment in SeaWorld, reflecting their appreciation of the strength of our brand, our potential to grow the company and a shared commitment to protect wildlife and the environment,” said SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby.

“Zhonghong Group has a strong track record of performance in the leisure and travel industries, and a solid management team with valuable experience in theme parks, family entertainment and real-estate development in Asia.”

Earlier this month, Manby said financial discipline was a top priority for the embattled operator, after end of year results saw both revenue and attendance decline on 2015 figures.

The deal will also see two Zhonghong Group executives joining SeaWorld’s board of directors, Yoshikazu Maruyama, president of the firm’s US operations, and chief strategy officer Wang Yongli, who will offer “substantive expertise in global themed entertainment and business development in China”.

Blackstone, who bought SeaWorld for US$2.3bn in 2009, is selling to Zhonghong Group at a price of US$23.00 per share. The New York-based investment firm took SeaWorld Entertainments public in 2013, but has reduced its stake in the years since.

“We are delighted to engage with SeaWorld to bring this iconic, world-class family entertainment brand to China. SeaWorld’s commitment to inspiring guests to protect animals and our oceans is increasingly relevant to people all around the world,” said Maruyama.

“Zhonghong Group hopes to contribute our experience and resources in global tourism and project development to enhance long-term value to all of SeaWorld's shareholders. We look forward to a highly collaborative relationship and to serve as a key partner to grow its business and further its mission.”
RELATED STORIES
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Tough year for SeaWorld as operator reports lacklustre figures


SeaWorld has submitted its end of year results, with revenues and attendance both down on 2015 as the company continues to try and transform its image, putting “fun but meaningful” at the forefront of its PR campaign.
SeaWorld's Doug Stagner named new IAAPA COO and EVP


IAAPA has named attractions veteran Doug Stagner as its new COO and executive vice president – a newly created position designed to help the organisation achieve its goals and handle growth and global infrastructure.
SeaWorld’s Tilikum dies as controversial orca shows laid to rest


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03-04 Sep 2022

HEALING SUMMIT 2022 - The Healing of Everything

Pine Cliff Resort, Portugal
27-29 Sep 2022

International Congress on Thermal Tourism

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