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Robert Niles

Cedar Fair denies that it has a deal to sell

Published: July 31, 2007 at 8:57 AM

Amusement park operator Cedar Fair, owner of Cedar Point, Kings Island and Knott's Berry Farm, among others, denied that it is near a deal to be bought by a California investment fund.

The New York Post reported yesterday that a $4.1 billion sale to Destiny Capital Solutions was near. The Post had reported three weeks ago that Cedar Fair was shopping itself, to raise cash after tapping itself out to buy the former Paramount Parks from Viacom last year.

Cedar Fair CEO Dick Kinzel confirmed, via press release, that Cedar Fair's gotten inquiries from potential buyers, but denied the sale rumor:

"Although as a matter of policy we do not normally comment on market rumors, an article today reports a claim by an organization referred to as Destiny Capital' that constructive negotiations with the company have been undertaken. We are not currently in discussions with that organization or any other party for the sale of the company."

[editor's snarky comment]In other words, we don't have a deal yet, so keep those offers coming![/editor's snarky comment]

Replies (1)

Derek Potter

Published: July 31, 2007 at 9:20 PM

The twist to the story now is that Destiny Capital released a reply that effectively really we've been talking to them. Something doesn't add up here. It's like Cedar Fair to play around with ride announcements, and to tease things like the Paramount purchase, but to issue a public statement with a flat out denial isn't like them...normally they would be quiet about such rumors. Either the NY Post is practicing some crappy journalism (which isn't out of the question), or Cedar Fair is trying to keep things quiet. If that is the case, than Destiny Capital isn't keeping up their end of that deal. Cedar Fair's second quarter conference call was today, perhaps that was a reason for the denial.

Cedar Fair just had their conference call, and profit is up for the company. Attendance is down, but operating costs are down, and guest spending is up enough to cover the decrease, which was reportedly due at least in part to a reduction in the number of operating days. In plain speak, Cedar Fair is so far still turning a profit despite the heavy burden of debt they've shouldered.

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