Six Flags Agrees to Sell Seven Parks for $312 Million
Thursday January 11, 8:40 am ET
Six Flags Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor in Valencia, CA Excluded from Sale
PARC 7F - Operations Corporation Will Purchase and Operate the Seven Parks; Financing Committed by CNL Income Properties Inc.
NEW YORK, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Six Flags, Inc. (NYSE: SIX - News) announced today that it has entered into an agreement to sell three of its water parks and four of its theme parks to PARC 7F-Operations Corporation (PARC) of Jacksonville, FL for $312 million, consisting of $275 million in cash and a note receivable for $37 million. The seven parks are: Six Flags Darien Lake in Buffalo, NY; Six Flags Elitch Gardens in Denver, CO; Frontier City and the White Water Bay water park in Oklahoma City, OK; SplashTown in Houston, TX; Waterworld USA in Concord, CA; and Wild Waves and Enchanted Village in Seattle, WA. The seven parks are estimated to have generated approximately $30 million of Park EBITDA(1) and 3.6 million of attendance in 2006.
Six Flags Magic Mountain and the adjacent Hurricane Harbor water park in Valencia, CA are not included in this transaction and will be fully operational and open for business in 2007 and beyond.
"We're pleased with the sale price for this portfolio of parks, particularly since we were able to retain the Magic Mountain parks," said Mark Shapiro, Six Flags President and CEO. "This transaction confirms the value inherent in our major market branded parks."
The disposition of these seven parks is a key component of the Company's overall strategy to reduce debt and enhance operational and financial flexiblity. Company management stated earlier this year that its intent was to reduce debt by several hundred million dollars over the next several years. The agreement announced today, combined with the June 2006 sale of the land underlying its Houston AstroWorld theme park for $77 million, will result in gross cash proceeds of $352 million for debt reduction.
In their most recent operating years, the seven parks to be sold and the Houston AstroWorld park contributed approximately $35 million(2) of Park EBITDA, implying a valuation multiple of approximately 11 times the combined Park EBITDA.
"My new management team had several key priorities for Six Flags in 2006: transitioning our brand to attract families; cleaning up the parks; reducing capital expenditures; establishing a Corporate Alliances department to forge sponsorship and marketing partnerships with major consumer brands; increasing guest spending; and selling assets as a means to reduce the company's debt," said Shapiro. "With this announcement, all those steps are in full swing and we now have our agenda focused squarely on the 2007 season. A targeted increase in our media spend and our strong new entertainment alliances have us poised to realize attendance gains, making for a successful 2007 season."
The Company noted that obligations with respect to 2007 season passes and any committed park events, including group bookings and the previously announced Dream Nite promotion, will continue to be fulfilled under the new park ownership. Although the two Six Flags-branded parks involved in the sale, Darien Lake in Buffalo, NY and Elitch Gardens in Denver, CO, will no longer carry the Six Flags brand under the new ownership, any 2007 season passes purchased at either of those parks will continue to be honored at all Six Flags branded parks throughout the 2007 season.
As part of the arrangements for the acquisition, PARC will simultaneously sell the parks to CNL Income Properties Inc. (CNL), a Florida-based real estate investment trust, and lease back the parks from CNL pursuant to long- term leases. The sale is subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act and receipt of necessary third-party consents. The transaction is expected to be completed in March 2007.
The Company will conduct a call with analysts and investors on Friday, January 12, 2007 at 12:00 pm EST to discuss the transaction and revise its 2007 guidance to reflect the sale transaction. The teleconference will be broadcast live to interested parties as a listen-only Webcast on http://investors.sixflags.com/