Six Flags and Cedar Fair Merging in $8 Billion Deal
Six Flags and Cedar Fair announced today plans to merge in a $8 billion deal that will result in a unified chain of 27 amusement parks, 15 water parks and nine resort properties across North America. The combined company will operate under the Six Flags brand but will trade on the stock exchange under Cedar Fair’s existing stock ticker “FUN.”
The merger agreement was unanimously approved by both the Cedar Fair and Six Flags boards of directors.
Below are answers to questions you may have about the Six Flags and Cedar Fair merger:
What will the combined Six Flags and Cedar Fair company be called?
The combined company will operate under the name Six Flags and trade under the ticker symbol FUN on the New York Stock Exchange.
When will the merger happen?
The merger is expected to close in the first half of 2024, “following receipt of Six Flags shareholder approval, regulatory approvals and satisfaction of customary closing conditions.”
What will happen to the intellectual properties (IPs) like DC Comics and Peanuts?
According to the news release, the combined company will retain the two companies’ IPs such as Looney Tunes, DC Comics and Peanuts.
Who will lead the new Six Flags and Cedar Fair company?
- Richard Zimmerman, current Cedar Fair president and CEO, will serve as president and CEO
- Selim Bassoul, current Six Flags president and CEO, will serve as executive chairman of the combined company’s board of directors.
- Brian Witherow, Cedar Fair chief financial officer (CFO), will serve as CFO
- Gary Mick, current Six Flags CFO, will serve as chief integration officer of the combined company
Will parks close as part of the Six Flags and Cedar Fair merger?
The news release does not indicate any parks will close as part of the merger. In fact, the announcement states that “Cedar Fair and Six Flags have minimal market overlap of park operations.”
The board of directors of the combined company will consist of 12 directors, six from the Cedar Fair Board and six from the Six Flags Board.
Where will the Six Flags and Cedar Fair headquarters be located?
The combined company will be headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, and will maintain significant finance and administrative operations in Sandusky, Ohio.
The fine details of the merger for shareholders:
“Cedar Fair unitholders will receive one share of common stock in the new combined company for each unit owned, and Six Flags shareholders will receive 0.5800 (the “Six Flags Exchange Ratio”) shares of common stock in the new combined company for each share owned. Following the close of the transaction, Cedar Fair unitholders will own approximately 51.2%, and Six Flags shareholders will own approximately 48.8%, of the combined company’s fully diluted share capital on a pro forma basis. One business day prior to the close of the transaction, Six Flags will declare a special cash dividend composed of:
- (i) a fixed amount of $1.00 per outstanding Six Flags share, totaling approximately $85 million in the aggregate, plus,
- (ii) an amount per outstanding Six Flags share equal to (a) the aggregate per unit distributions declared or paid by Cedar Fair to unitholders with a record date following today’s date and prior to the close of the transaction, multiplied by (b) the Six Flags Exchange Ratio, which special dividend will be payable to Six Flags shareholders of record as of one business day prior to the close of the transaction, contingent on the closing of the transaction.”
Leaders from Six Flags and Cedar Fair released statements on the merger:
“Our merger with Six Flags will bring together two of North America’s iconic amusement park companies to establish a highly diversified footprint and a more robust operating model to enhance park offerings and performance,” said Richard Zimmerman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cedar Fair.
“Together, we will have an expanded and complementary portfolio of attractive assets and intellectual property to deliver engaging entertainment experiences for guests. The combination also creates an enhanced financial profile with strong cash flow generation to accelerate investments in our parks to delight our guests, driving increased levels of demand and in-park value and spending. I have great respect for the Six Flags team and look forward to joining forces as we embark on this next chapter together.”
“The combination of Six Flags and Cedar Fair will redefine our guests’ amusement park experience as we combine the best of both companies,” added Selim Bassoul, President and Chief Executive Officer of Six Flags.
“Six Flags and Cedar Fair share a strong cultural alignment, operating philosophy, and steadfast commitment to providing consumers with thrilling experiences. By combining our operational models and technology platforms, we expect to accelerate our transformation activities and unlock new potential for our parks. We are excited to unite the Cedar Fair and Six Flags teams to capitalize on the tremendous growth opportunities and operational efficiencies of our combined platform for the benefit of our guests, shareholders, employees, and other stakeholders.”
This was not the first time the possibility of a Six Flags and Cedar Fair merger surfaced. In 2019, Cedar Fair rejected a $4 billion stock and cash offer from Six Flags.
What are your thoughts on the Cedar Fair and Six Flags merger? Let us know in the comments section below!