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US amusement park operators Cedar Fair, Six Flags in merger talks-sources

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US amusement park operators Cedar Fair, Six Flags in merger talks-sources



NEW YORK, Nov 1 (Reuters) - U.S. amusement park operator Cedar Fair LP (FUN.N) is exploring a potential merger with peer Six Flags Entertainment Corp (SIX.N), people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.


A tie-up between the two companies would come as concerns about a U.S. economic slowdown and consumers curbing their discretionary spending have weighed on their stock performance. Merging would allow them to weather a slowdown from a stronger position.


The companies have discussed a combination in the past, including in 2019, and there is no certainty that the latest deliberations will result in an agreement, the sources said, requesting anonymity because the matter is confidential.


If there is an agreement, it could come as early as Thursday, when Cedar Fair reports quarterly earnings.

Cedar Fair and Six Flags, which have a market value of $1.8 billion and $1.7 billion, respectively, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


Cedar Fair shares and Six Flags rose more than 6% and 7% on the news, respectively, in afternoon trading in New York. They have both underperformed the Refinitiv United States Leisure & Recreation Price Return Index by more than 15% this year.


Cedar Fairs owns 11 amusement parks and four gated outdoor water parks in 10 U.S. states and in Toronto, Ontario. Six Flags is the largest operator of water parks in North America, with 27 parks across the United States, Mexico and Canada.


Source:  Reuters

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They've explored merging several times in the past, but I think this time it has a good chance of happening. 


Six Flags has lost their way in the past few years, and Cedar Fair has a much better track record in most respects. The money they could save in combined operations is substantial (at least in the short term) the consumers could be big winners with Season Passes valid for so many parks. Of course they would then have less need to spend on big additions to their parks with less competition, but things could change, and I wouldn't be surprised to see the combined company sell a park or two off to either SeaWorld or Herschend. 

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if some parks gets sold, I wonder if great adventure gets sold to amazon if they willing to enter the theme park game given the fact the old owner of great adventure is the grandson of the producer for mgm which amazon owns & there's are amazon stuff at some six flags parks, Netflix or Microsoft could also work since I believe they not in that market yet and buying some parks from six flags/cedar fair will be their way into the theme park market

Edited by harry2004
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Nope-- I would guess that Great Adventure, Great America, Magic Mountain, and SFOT are safe as "keepers" for the new company since they along with their parks (Canada's Wonderland, Cedar Point, Kings Island, and Knott's Berry Farm) all are top draws and money makers. 


The smaller parks would be the most likely sale candidates since SeaWorld and Herschend would probably have some interest in acquiring them. Things like Frontier City, Discovery Kingdom, Great Escape, America, Dorney, Valleyfair, Michigan's Adventure would be more likely sale candidates.  

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