Make us your home page
Instagram

Blackstone takes over, renames Busch Entertainment Corp.

Blackstone Group on Tuesday completed its $2.7 billion acquisition of Busch Gardens and nine other theme parks, giving its latest attractions industry venture a new name.

The former theme park unit of brewing giant Anheuser Busch InBev is now SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment.

"We've been removing the last Busch corporate icons from the parks, but plan to keep the Busch Gardens name for a long time," said Jim Atchison, president of both the new company and the one that ran the parks for Busch. "We chose the SeaWorld name because it represents our flagship brand.

Through a sponsorship with InBev, Blackstone will keep the Busch Gardens name at parks in Tampa and Williamsburg, Va. The trademark Clydesdale teams, which remain the property of Anheuser Busch, will leave the parks early next year.

Headquartered in Orlando, the new entity is the second largest theme park operator in the world behind Walt Disney Co.

But it's only the latest addition to New York hedge fund Blackstone's ownership in the theme park industry. Blackstone owns the British Merlin Entertainments Group, which operates the London Eye Wheel, Madame Tussaud's, Legoland parks in the United States and theme parks in Europe. Blackstone also owns half of Universal Orlando, the second largest theme park combination in Orlando which is going through its own corporate changing of the guard.

General Electric's NBC Universal owns the other half of Universal Orlando, but GE wants out of the entertainment business. It is negotiating a price and terms for Comcast Corp., the nation's biggest cable TV service, to buy NBC Universal including its TV networks, Hollywood studios and theme parks.

To set the stage, GE agreed to buy French Vivendi SA's 20 percent interest in NBC Universal for $5.8 billion. That deal would allow GE to sell all of NBC Universal to Comcast over seven years for about $30 billion. The deal must be approved by regulators including the FCC.

Mark Albright can be reached at albright@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8252.

Blackstone takes over, renames Busch Entertainment Corp. 12/01/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 1, 2009 10:52pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Proino Breakfast Club owner charged with not paying state taxes

    Crime

    LARGO — Just before noon on a recent Sunday at Proino Breakfast Club, the dining room was bustling as owner George Soulellis chatted with a customer.

    Proino Breakfast Club at 201 West Bay Drive in Largo. The owner was arrested last month on a theft of state funds charge, according to court records. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times
  2. Former Sen. Greg Evers, advocate for law enforcement, dead at 62.

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Former State Sen. Greg Evers, the Baker Florida strawberry farmer and veteran politician, was killed in a single car crash hear his home in Okaloosa County. The Florida Highway Patrol confirmed the death late Tuesday, but deferred any further information pending an investigation. He was 62.

    Former Florida Senator Greg Evers, R- Milton, was a passionate advocate for law enforcement and corrections officers. He was found dead Tuesday afternoon in a car crash. He was 62. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  3. Foundation Partners buys Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home

    Business

    ST. PETERSBURG — Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home, the Tampa Bay area's largest family-owned funeral company, has been sold.

    Anderson-McQueen Funeral Home, the Tampa Bay area's largest family-owned funeral company, has been sold.
[CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  4. Water Street Tampa unveils video showing downtown's transformation

    Business

    TAMPA — Water Street Tampa, the sweeping, 50-plus acre redevelopment project in Tampa's urban core, has unveiled new images and video of what the downtown district will look like upon completion.

    Strategic Property Partners released a conceptual image of what the Tampa skyline will look like once its redevelopment of 50-plus acres of downtown will look like. [Photo courtesy of  of SPP]
  5. Florida ranks high for workplace equality between men and women

    Working Life

    When it comes to the workplace, Florida ranks fifth in terms of gender equality, a WalletHub study released Tuesday found.

    Florida ranks high in terms of equality between men and women in the workplace. Pictured is Sandra Murman, county commissioner in 2015, talking about the differences in pay between men and women. | [Times file photo]