According to the S-1/A registration for initial public offering, SeaWorld Entertainment will sell 10 million shares itself, targeting an IPO price of $24 to $27 per share. Selling shareholders, including Blackstone, will sell a further 10 million shares. When all's said and done, SeaWorld expects to have 92.7 million shares outstanding. Thus, Blackstone's initial return from the sale looks likely to be $240 million, minimum, while SeaWorld itself should have a post-IPO valuation of anywhere from $2.2 billion to $2.5 billion.
Add in the $110 million special dividend Blackstone paid itself out of SeaWorld's revenues in 2011, and the $500 million special dividend it took in 2012, and Blackstone could clear a 35% profit on the original deal in which it paid $2.3 billion to acquire SeaWorld from Anheuser-Busch Inbev back in 2009.
And chances look good Blackstone will end up majority owner in an entity valued around the $2.3 billion it paid for SeaWorld.
SeaWorld, which will trade under ticker symbol "SEAS" upon IPO'ing, owns 11 entertainment parks, including its eponymous SeaWorld locations, Busch Gardens, Water Country USA, and Sesame Place in Pennsylvania.
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