How many roller coasters can you fit in your pocket? If you've got enough change on you, Six Flags
The stock soared on the news. Back in May, shares could be had for as little as $3.72 a stub; they have gone on to nearly double.
In my article last week, I wrote about the operator's untapped potential. So now that the company is officially for sale, who might step up to the plate? Snyder's Red Zone obviously leads the pack. He wouldn't have proposed a tender offer to grow his stake to a little more than a third of the company if he didn't believe it would be worth more down the road.
I'm fairly confident that Disney
That brings us to Time Warner
What about Comcast
Finally, we have Viacom
So what does the future hold? It's unclear. Snyder argues that Six Flags is a real-estate play, and that is partly true. The company's parks sit on approximately 7,500 acres of land, a lot of which is company-owned. However, going by the $125 million it received when it sold its 690-acre Ohio park to Cedar Fair last year, the math doesn't exactly translate to much of a markup beyond the company's debt load.
Still, some parks are also more successful than others. That's why a strategic divestiture may be in Six Flags' future. Existing park operators might be willing to bid on specific locations that make tactical and regional sense for them. Unfortunately, some of the lesser parks -- especially those sitting on valuable real estate -- may find themselves razed along the way.
It's bad timing even for Six Flags. The chain is finally getting its act together -- it is coming off its first profitable spring quarter since 2002 and park attendance has been growing over the past three quarters. Then again, it's that potential for a turnaround that may attract bidders. Done right, scooping up Six Flags at a fire-sale price is something that no respectable entertainment giant should scoff at. Who dares picks at these bones of steel and concrete? Stick around. The bidding process has only just begun.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz loves to take his family to new amusement parks every summer. He practices what he preaches as he owns shares in Disney, Cedar Fair, and Six Flags. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.