Six Flags and Cedar Fair Plan to Merge in an All-Stock Deal

The combined company set to become a bigger rival to Disney Parks and SeaWorld

Six Flags Amusement Park
Darren McCollester / Getty Images

Six Flags Entertainment (SIX) and Cedar Fair Entertainment (FUN) shares soared in pre-market trading after the companies announced an all-stock merger, creating one of the biggest theme park operators in the Americas.

Following the announcement on Thursday, Six Flags stock was up more than 6%, and shares of Cedar Fair were down about 1%.

Key Takeaways

  • Six Flags and Cedar Fair announced plans to merge, creating a new company worth $8 billion, making the resulting company one of the biggest amusement park operators in the Americas.
  • Cedar Fair shareholders will receive one share of the new company per unit of stock owned, and Six Flag shareholders will receive 0.58 shares for each unit owned.
  • The new company expects to have synergies of $200 million.

The deal will propel the companies' combined worth to about $8 billion, based on both companies' debt and equity values as of Oct. 31, 2023.

Cedar Fair shareholders will receive one share of the new company per unit of stock owned, and Six Flags shareholders will receive 0.58 shares for each unit of stock owned. When the merger is completed, Cedar Fair shareholders will own about 51.2% of the company, while Six Flags shareholders will own approximately 48.8%.

With a portfolio of 27 amusement parks, 15 water parks, and nine resort properties across 17 states in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, the new company expects to have synergies worth $200 million. Of this, $120 million will stem from administrative and operational cost savings that are expected to be realized within two years of the merger. The remaining $80 million will be generated from the increase in EBITDA within three years of the finalized deal.

The future rival of industry heavyweights Walt Disney (DIS) and SeaWorld Entertainment (SEAS) expects the deal to increase free cash flow so that it can invest in consumer technology as well as new rides and other fresh attractions.

The merger is expected to close in the first half of 2024, following the required approvals.

The new company will trade under the FUN ticker on the New York Stock Exchange and keep the Six Flags name. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, the combined entity will be led by Cedar Fair Chief Executive Officer Richard Zimmerman. Selim Bassoul, the head of Six Flags, will become executive chairman.

In February 2022, Cedar Fair turned down a $63-per-share merger offer from SeaWorld.

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  1. Six Flags. "Cedar Fair and Six Flags to Combine in Merger of Equals, Creating a Leading Amusement Park Operator."

  2. Bloomberg. "SeaWorld, Cedar Fair Slide as Theme-Park Merger Plan Crumbles."

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