Top Amusement Park Companies Merge

The amusement park giants Six Flags and Cedar Fair have just announced a $8 billion merger.

The merged firm will run 27 theme parks, 15 water parks, and nine resorts in North America, with an estimated $3 billion in annual revenue. Six Flags has had financial difficulties for quite some time; in 2020, after missing payments for planned projects in China, the company’s share value plummeted, leading to the agreement. These strategies were abandoned in February 2020 because of the widespread spread of Covid-19.

This merger will position the combined entity as a frontrunner in the “extremely competitive leisure space” by creating a “leading amusement park operator.” Cedar Fair and Six Flags are two of the world’s largest amusement park and resort operators, with a combined 27 parks in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Cedar Fair manages several theme parks, including King’s Island in Mason, Ohio, Buena Park, California’s Knotts Berry Farm, and Six Flags, with locations in Texas (Arlington), California (Valencia), and New Jersey (Jackson).

The merger agreement calls for Cedar Fair shareholders to own approximately 51.2% of the combined firm, with Six Flags owners owning around 48.8%. Looney Tunes, DC Comics, and Peanuts intellectual property rights will all be held by the merged business, among others. Cedar Fair CEO Richard Zimmerman will take over as president and CEO, with Six Flags CEO Selim Bassoul moving into Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Investors in Cedar Fair will get one share of common stock in the combined firm for each unit owned, while investors in Six Flags will receive 0.5800 shares of stock in the combined company for each share held once the merger is finalized in the first half of 2024. The merged company will have the greatest features of both; thus, it will likely revolutionize the amusement park experience for visitors.

Six Flags and Cedar Fair estimate $120 million in cost savings within two years after finalizing the all-stock merger. About 51.2% of the combined company will be owned by Cedar Fair unitholders, and about 48.8% will be held by Six Flags shareholders.