Six Flags, owner of Hurricane Harbor in Phoenix, to merge with theme park operator Cedar Fair

Among the parks included in the merger are popular California attractions Knott’s Berry Farm and Six Flags Magic Mountain.
(2022 FILE VIDEO) Six Flags Corporation, which owns Hurricane Harbor in north Phoenix, will merge with theme park giant Cedar Fair.
Published: Nov. 2, 2023 at 5:18 PM MST|Updated: Nov. 2, 2023 at 7:20 PM MST
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(TMX) -- Amusement park companies Cedar Fair and Six Flags Entertainment Corporation on Thursday announced a “merger of equals” into a combined company worth around $8 billion.

The combined company will be one of the largest amusement park companies in North America, with a shared portfolio of 27 amusement parks, 15 water parks, and 9 resort properties across 17 states in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The combined company will also share entertainment partnerships and intellectual property rights for DC Comics, Looney Tunes, and more.

MORE: Six Flags, Cedar Fair Announce Merger Deal (WOIO Cleveland)

Under the terms of the agreement, expected to close in the first half of 2024, Cedar Fair shareholders will own around 51.2% of the company, and Six Flags Shareholders will own approximately 48.8%.

The companies said they expect the merger to generate $120 million in cost savings within two years of closing the deal, with “anticipated annual synergies” of $200 million.

Both companies released their third-quarter earnings on Thursday and reported entertaining a combined 48 million guests in the 12 months through the third quarter of 2023. The companies forecast the combined company would generate $3.4 billion in revenue, with $826 million in free cash flow.

Cedar Fair President and CEO Richard Zimmerman will be president and CEO of the combined company. At the same time, Six Flags President and CEO Selim Bassoul will become Executive Chairman of the company’s combined board of directors.

“Our merger with Six Flags will bring together two of North America’s iconic amusement park companies to establish a highly diversified footprint and a more robust operating model to enhance park offerings and performance,” Zimmerman said.

“Together, we will have an expanded and complementary portfolio of attractive assets and intellectual property to deliver engaging entertainment experiences for guests,” Zimmerman said. “I have great respect for the Six Flags team and look forward to joining forces as we embark on this next chapter together.”

Bassoul noted that both companies “share a strong cultural alignment, operating philosophy, and steadfast commitment to providing consumers with thrilling experiences.”

“By combining our operational models and technology platforms, we expect to accelerate our transformation activities and unlock new potential for our parks,” Bassoul said.

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