SeaWorld increases IPO to more than $500 million

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc., which operates the theme park in San Diego, among others, could raise $540 million in an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

Shamu plans to soak Wall Street with a greater splash than previously thought.

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. — the company known for its performing killer whale — could raise $540 million in an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange.


That’s $440 million more than its initial filing in December showed, and $40 million larger than a filing Monday.

Now, the theme park company said it plans to offer 20 million shares priced between $24 and $27, according to a Tuesday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Underwriters have an option to purchase 3 million additional shares, potentially boosting the IPO to $621 million.

Investment firm Blackstone Group purchased SeaWorld from Anheuser-Busch InBev in 2009. SeaWorld said it plans to use its proceeds from the IPO to make a payment to Blackstone and pay down debt.

SeaWorld saw $1.4 billion in revenues last year, while earning $77.4 million in profit, according to Tuesday’s filing.

SeaWorld plans to list its stock under the symbol SEAS. It did not give a date for the upcoming offering.

Last year, the Orlando, Fla., company hosted more than 24 million visitors at its 11 theme parks, which include three SeaWorld centers in San Diego, Orlando and San Antonio and Busch Gardens parks on the East Coast.


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