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SeaWorld Will Take Its Killer Whales Public

The theme-park operator's IPO will give private equity owner Blackstone Group a chunk of cash


SeaWorld Entertainment has filed for an IPO. SeaWorld operates 11 amusement parks, which are home to 67,000 marine and terrestrial animals, including 28 killer whales!

The offering’s lead underwriters include Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), Citigroup (NYSE:C), BofA Merrill Lynch (NYSE:BAC), Barclays (NYSE:BCS) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC). While the proposed ticker is “SEAS,” the Securities & Exchange filing didn’t mention which exchange the company will list on.

And yes, the financials are solid. For the first nine months of 2012, revenues went from $1.079 billion to $1.161 billion. During this time, operating income climbed from $170.3 million to $228.7 million.

Back in late 2009, Anheuser-Busch InBev sold its SeaWorld division to private equity powerhouse Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX). The price tag was $2.7 billion.

SeaWorld plans to use the IPO proceeds to pare down its debt and pay a one-time distribution to Blackstone.

Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPO Playbook, a site dedicated to the hottest news and rumors about initial public offerings. He is also the author of “How to Create the Next Facebook” and “High-Profit IPO Strategies: Finding Breakout IPOs for Investors and Traders.”  Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media,

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