Tags: SeaWorld | stock | initial | offering

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

Tuesday, 09 Apr 2013 08:38 AM

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc., the aquatic theme-park operator owned by Blackstone Group LP, is seeking to raise as much as $540 million in its initial public offering.

About 20 million shares are being sold at $24 to $27 apiece, SeaWorld said in a regulatory filing. Existing stockholders are offering 10 million shares, while SeaWorld is offering the rest. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp., Barclays Plc and Wells Fargo & Co. are managing the sale.

At the midpoint of the price range, Orlando-based SeaWorld would be valued at about $2.4 billion, the filing shows. Blackstone, the world’s biggest private-equity firm, is moving ahead with the IPO as soon as this month after rejecting takeover bids for the theme-park operator, a person familiar with the matter said last week.

The shares being offered will be equal to about 22 percent of the theme-park operator’s shares outstanding once the sale is completed. Proceeds from the sale will be used to redeem $140 million in debt as well as pay a fee to an affiliate of Blackstone, SeaWorld said.

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. Apollo Global Management LLC and Onex Corp. each made bids for Orlando-based SeaWorld, people with knowledge of the matter said in February.

The company plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SEAS. SeaWorld’s net proceeds from the sale will be approximately $231.3 million based on the midpoint price range of $25.50 a share. Stockholders may opt to sell an additional 3 million shares to raise as much as $81 million.

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