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Cedar Fair spikes on report of Six Flags interest

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Most of the complaints I see about Six Flags operations really vary from park to park. I think so much comes down to park leadership, with managers who are established doing better than ones who have just taken over. It takes a season or two of fine tuning to get things running the way they should. The biggest problem I've seen with Six Flags is inconsistency from manager to manager, and just when things hit their stride, they move the manager to another park. 

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I still think the best fit for Six Flags is the Palace Entertainment parks.  Now that we know what type of price Cedar Fair is looking for,  I could see Scott Ross attempting a bid to merge SeaWorld with Cedar Fair and having the Cedar Fair executives take over management of the new company.   Scott Ross was involved in Apollo's attempted $2.4 billion buyout of Cedar Fair in 2010.


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  • 2 weeks later...

From the Six Flags Q3 2019 Earnings Call



Jim Reid-Anderson
Before I turn the call over to Marshall, I would like to update you on two other topics. Regarding the CEO transition process, our Board search committee has been proceeding at the anticipated pace and there continues to be great interest in the role. With an outstanding group of candidates, we are on track to make the CEO selection ahead of the February 2020 target date, and our Board hopes to announce a final decision in the near future. 

The second topic addresses the recent rumor about M&A discussions. We have the ability to independently grow above the industry average for years to come. Yet we also believe there are attractive opportunities for industry consolidation whether by acquiring standalone parks as we have in the last two years, or by pursuing scale transactions. We believe it is always important for any management team and Board to remain open to possibilities that could benefit their shareholders.


Our logic is that our differentiated capabilities can enhance the performance of any newly combined entity. Our policy is not to comment on specific M&A, especially rumors, but we've long stated that we are always assessing opportunities for which there is a compelling rationale.


Over the last few years, discussions have occurred with most regional players in the industry. And those discussions have taken place over many months, and in many cases years. We are very disciplined and thorough in our assessments, and have strict guidelines concerning return on investment.


We also work hard to understand the needs of the other side. So assessment of structure and associated considerations are a key part of our approach. We would never proceed without studying the situation and proposing something that works for both parties. At the end of the day, the only barrier that we have consistently self-imposed has been our discipline to not overpay for an asset. We will never do that.


So we are always looking at opportunities, but just in case there's any lack of clarity, we are not in the midst of any discussions or negotiations for an acquisition or merger of significant size. Clearly over time, that could change. But at this time, we have one singular focus, driving continued success at Six Flags, beginning with achieving our 10th consecutive record-breaking year in 2019, and continuing with initiatives that will help us deliver strong financial performance for many years to come.


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