Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sea World, Busch Gardens, etc...done deal

Looks like Blackstone Group has officially got their hands on "some other tourist attraction in central Florida" called Sea World & Busch Gardens for $2.7B. 

Blackstone, the New York-based private-equity giant, will pay AB InBev $2.3 billion in cash plus give the beer brewer a right to participate in its return on investment up to $400 million. Blackstone will own 100 percent of Busch Entertainment.

As rumors of the sale swirled, analysts speculated that Blackstone could ultimately seek to package Busch with Merlin ahead of an initial public offering or pair it with Universal Orlando -- which it co-owns with NBC Universal -- to create a more formidable competitor to Walt Disney World. But Blackstone says it does not intend to pursue any such combination; the firm noted it bought Busch, Universal and Merlin out of separate investment funds with separate investors and interests.

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