Blackstone's SeaWorld files for $100 million IPO

Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:49pm IST

Tillikum, a killer whale at SeaWorld amusement park, performs during the show ''Believe'' in Orlando, in this September 3, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger/Files

Tillikum, a killer whale at SeaWorld amusement park, performs during the show ''Believe'' in Orlando, in this September 3, 2009 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Mathieu Belanger/Files

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(Reuters) - SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, controlled by Blackstone Group LP (BX.N), on Thursday filed with the U.S. regulators to raise up to $100 million in an initial public offering of its common shares.

The company, which is best known perhaps for its performing killer whale Shamu, named Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Securities as the lead underwriters for the offering. (r.reuters.com/qyp84t)

The amount of money a company says it plans to raise in its first IPO filing is used to calculate registration fees. The final size of the IPO could be different.

Reuters earlier this month reported that Orlando, Florida-based SeaWorld was looking to raise $500 million to $600 million in the IPO.

SeaWorld owns 11 theme parks including those with the SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Sesame Place brands, caring for more than 67,000 animals.

The filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission did not reveal how many shares the company planned to sell or their expected price.

SeaWorld did not reveal the name of the exchange it planned to list its stock on. It intends to list the common stock under the symbol "SEAS."

During the 12 months ended September 30, 24 million guests visited the company's theme parks.

SeaWorld earned about $19.1 million on revenue of $1.33 billion in 2011.

After the completion of this offering, Blackstone affiliates will continue to own a majority of the voting power of all outstanding shares of the common stock, SeaWorld said in the filing.

Blackstone acquired SeaWorld from beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev SA (ABI.BR) in December 2009 for $2.3 billion, according to Blackstone's website.

(Reporting by Ashutosh Pandey in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)