Will the Busch theme parks be the next to be sold?
Speculation is building that the Busch theme park chain might be the next one to change owners.
Belgian brewer InBev is trying to round up $50 billion in financing to take over St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch, owner of the Busch Entertainment Corporation, which operates the Busch Gardens and SeaWorld theme parks.
Busch is hiring its own financial advisers to fend off the attempt. Busch recently moved its theme park operations from St. Louis to Orlando, and some analysts believe that InBev would have little interest in running theme parks, and might look to sell the parks to raise money to help cover the cost of the potential deal.
In the past few years:CBS sold its Paramount Parks to Cedar Fair.
Lego sold a majority share in Legoland to Merlin Entertainments, which later bought Tussauds.
Six Flags was taken over by a investment group led by Dan Snyder
Universal was bought by General Electric, as Vivendi broke up and Universal was combined with GE"s NBC.
Disney changed its top management, as Robert Iger replaced CEO Michael Eisner.
That's left Busch as the model of stability in the industry. So much for that stability, now.
As I already said in the past, I will be disappointed if Anheuser-Busch sells out.
Let me this start by saying I am a huge Busch Gardens fan. I hope that Anheuser- Busch can fend this takeover attempt off. I would hate to see a great American company be sold to a foreign company. To me Busch’s theme parks are the best run and who knows what would happen if it is sold. This really bothers me.
How often does bud claim to be the King of Beers, proud to be American Owned.
Who would buy them? Who has the resources left to do that? Not Cedar Fair. Not Six Flags. It's not in Disney's corporate culture to do this. Universal? Where's the synergy there?
When I first read about the possible InBev takeover a week or two ago, my first thought was what's going to the happen to the Busch Parks? Then I remembered that the parks headquarters was moved. I think the most likely action initially is that the theme parks might be spun off as a separate company with InBev as the primary shareholder. This would allow them to concentrate on the alcohol business and worry about the fate of the parks later. I think it might make it easier for other investors to consider buying the park.
Please GOD NO! I love Busch and the way they run their parks. InBev would for sure ruin these parks.
I would really, really hate to see A-B sold. Definitely think the last thing we need is more globalization/homogenization. And although I am suspicious of unthinking "knee jerk" patriotism, I admit I'm proud A-B has remained an American company.
I think its more of a shakeup than everybody being bought by somebody else.
I love Anheuser-Busch and would be extremely disappointed if the company was sold.
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