Cedar Fair, parent company of Kings Island, rejects SeaWorld’s buyout offer

One of the nation’s biggest amusement park chains says it’s mulling a takeover bid from SeaWorld Entertainment

SANDUSKY — Cedar Fair, the Ohio-based parent company of Kings Island, has rejected a buyout offer from SeaWorld.

SeaWorld Entertainment made an offer in the past month to take over Cedar Fair Entertainment, one of the nation’s biggest amusement park operators.

Cedar Fair said it reviewed the unsolicited bid. Details of the offer were not released.

SeaWorld, based in Orlando, operates a dozen SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Sesame Place parks, primarily in the southern U.S.

“In response to inquires from various stakeholders, we confirm that our offer to acquire Cedar Fair was rejected,” the statement said. “Unfortunately, we do not see a path to a transaction.”

SeaWorld’s buyout bid, at a reported $60 per share, was largely perceived as too low, industry observers told Cleveland.com. “It doesn’t appear to me that their offer is even in the ballpark at this time,” Dennis Speigel, president of International Theme Park Services in Cincinnati, earlier this month told Cleveland.com.

Cedar Fair’s 15 amusement and water parks from coast to coast include Cedar Point and Kings Island in Ohio, Knott’s Berry Farm near Los Angeles, Canada’s Wonderland outside Toronto, and Carowinds near Charlotte, North Carolina. It also has several hotels and campgrounds at its parks.