Two of the nation’s leading amusement park operators announced a “merger of equals” Thursday in a deal valued at approximately $8 billion.
Once completed, the deal combines the parent company of the Santa Clarita Valley’s largest employer, Six Flags Entertainment Corp., with Cedar Fair, the company that owns and operates Knott’s Berry Farm, among other amusement properties in a national portfolio.
Six Flags Magic Mountain, located on Magic Mountain Parkway, employs approximately 2,500 people, according to the most recent figures from the SCV Economic Development Corp.
The new company will have a portfolio of 27 amusement parks, 15 water parks and nine resort properties across 17 states in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, according to both companies.
“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,” Richard Zimmerman, president and CEO of Cedar Fair, said in a news release. “Together, we will have an expanded and complementary portfolio of attractive assets and intellectual property to deliver engaging entertainment experiences for guests.”
Under the new arrangement, “Cedar Fair unitholders will own approximately 51.2%, and Six Flags shareholders will own approximately 48.8%,” according to a news release on the Six Flags website.
“The combination of Six Flags and Cedar Fair will redefine our guests’ amusement park experience as we combine the best of both companies,” added Selim Bassoul, president and chief executive officer of Six Flags. “Six Flags and Cedar Fair share a strong cultural alignment, operating philosophy and steadfast commitment to providing consumers with thrilling experiences.”
Over the past 12 months, according to a statement on Six Flags’ website, through the third quarter of fiscal 2023, Six Flags and Cedar Fair collectively entertained 48 million guests and were expected to bring in more $3.4 billion in revenue.