Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

Palace Entertainment sold to Parques Reunidos

Deal paves pay for European operator to enter US


MidOcean Partners, a private equity firm with offices in New York and London, has announced that it has signed to sell Palace Entertainment to European operator Parques Reunidos, itself owned by private equity outfit Candover.

The transaction is valued at approximately US$330 million plus cash and less net debt as of July 31, 2007 and is subject to customary regulatory approvals and expected to close in the third quarter of 2007.

Palace Entertainment is the largest operator of waterparks and family entertainment centres in the United States, with 33 parks and over 10 million visitors annually. Its waterpark properties include Wet ‘N Wild in Greensboro, North Carolina; Raging Waters in San Dimas, San Jose and Sacramento; California, Splish Splash in Riverhead, New York; Big Kahuna’s in Destin, Florida; Water Country in Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Mountain Creek in Vernon, New Jersey; and Wild Waters in Ocala, Florida.

The group also owns the Boomers, Castle Park, Silver Springs, Malibu Grand Prix, Mountasia, and Speedzone family entertainment centre brands in California, Texas, Florida, Georgia and New York. MidOcean acquired Palace Entertainment in 2006.

“We are pleased with the progress that we have made at Palace Entertainment during our ownership,” said Tyler Zachem, managing Director of MidOcean. “We were able to bring significant management resources to Palace and have grown the business both organically and through acquisition. We have built Palace into a leader in its industry and a great platform which will facilitate Parques Reunidos’ entry into the US leisure market.”

Headquartered in Spain, Parques Reunidos operates 28 separate amusement parks, animal parks, and waterparks, across seven countries in Europe and also Brazil. More than 12 million visitors are attracted annually to its attractions, which include the flagship Parque de Atracciones and Zoo Aquarium in Madrid.

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