April 18 Blackstone Group's SeaWorld
Parks and Entertainment increased the size of its initial public
offering to 26 million shares from 20 million, a day before its
expected debut on the New York Stock Exchange.
Stockholders will now sell 16 million shares instead of the
10 million they had initially planned, with the company offering
the rest. ()
SeaWorld, which is best known for performing killer whale
Shamu, said it expects to price its shares at between $24 and
$27 each, raising $702 million.
At the higher end of the expected range, the company would
be valued at $2.5 billion. Blackstone had acquired SeaWorld from
brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev SA in December 2009 for
$2.3 billion, according to the private equity firm's website.
The Orlando, Florida-based company owns 11 theme parks under
brands such as SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Sesame Place, and
says it is responsible for more than 67,000 animals.
Blackstone, which also owns a substantial stake in Legoland
operator Merlin Entertainments Group, will see its SeaWorld
holding come down to about 73.7 percent after the IPO.
Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Securities are the lead
underwriters for the offering.