Shamu for sale? Anheuser-Busch might sell SeaWorld even before it’s acquired

The rumor a few years ago was that Anheuser-Busch was shopping around their theme park properties known collectively known as “Worlds of Discovery”. Only problem was NBC/Universal was doing the same thing and no one was looking seriously at either. As it turns out, both sets of theme parks were profitable, and with a little more investment, they’ve become even more profitable. So the sales were off the table for a bit.

Now Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of Busch Entertainment’s Worlds of Discovery is preparing itself for a possible sale. I think they’d prefer private equity (think Chrysler) but there’s a chance they’ll be sold to international beverage mega-corp, InBev. As part of this, they’re looking at shedding side business lines that aren’t related to the core beverage products. That, despite their incredible promotional appeal, would include theme parks.

I am very worried that SeaWorld and Busch’s animal conservation programs would suffer under any new owner. AB did a ton of great work in this area over the years that went above and beyond even what the themeparks could provide. Also any new owner would need to be able to make the sort of capital investments that are required to stay competitive in the tough tourist markets where World’s of Discovery are located.

The Orlando Sentinel has more on the possible deal.

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3 Responses to Shamu for sale? Anheuser-Busch might sell SeaWorld even before it’s acquired

  1. majortom1981 says:

    Are there parks designated as awild life sanctuary? I think wild safari at great adventure is designated as one and since it is gets money from the government so if seaworld and bush gardens are this also i think the animals would be protected no matter who buys the parks.

  2. West Coast Parks Guy says:

    Busch came out today and said that they didn’t plan to sell the parks, but that’s assuming InBev doesn’t wind up buying them. Rumor has it out here that there is some guy with VERY deep pockets (billions) looking to buy theme parks. Hmmmmm…

  3. doingflorida says:

    It seems the initial bid was rejected but the company may come back with an even higher one. Sounds like these could be worrying times for the theme parks. Especially with Seaworld just at the start of building a brand new, huge rollercoaster

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