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Cedar Fair rejects SeaWorld’s acquisition offer

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc.’s offer to acquire Cedar Fair L.P. has been rejected, stymieing plans to combine entertainment businesses that have been hit hard by the pandemic.

“Unfortunately, we do not see a path to a transaction,” SeaWorld
SEAS,
+5.51%

said in a statement late Tuesday, without elaborating further.

Earlier this month, Cedar Fair
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+0.10%

had said its board would carefully review and consider the proposal to determine the course of action it believes is in the best interest of the company and its unit holders.

Cedar Fair, whose parks include Cedar Point in Ohio, Knott’s Berry Farm in California and Schlitterbahn in Texas, operates 13 properties across the U.S. and Canada, while SeaWorld has 12 theme and water parks ranging from the eponymous brand to its Busch Gardens parks.

Amusement parks’ operations have been severely hurt by the pandemic due to various business restrictions and a fall in tourist arrivals. SeaWorld furloughed about 95% of its employees in 2020.

Last year, conditions improved and by end of the second quarter, all of SeaWorld’s 12 parks were open and operating without capacity limitations.

In May 2021, Cedar Fair opened all of its U.S. properties for the operating season on a staggered basis with capacity restrictions, guest reservations, and other operating protocols in place.

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Cedar Fair is due to announce its fourth-quarter results Wednesday. SeaWorld is due to announce its results Feb. 24

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