Cedar Fair and Six Flags Entertainment Corporation today announced that they have entered into a transcendent merger agreement.

The combined company will operate under the name Six Flags with Richard Zimmerman (of Cedar Fair) as CEO, and Selim Bassoul (of Six Flags) as Executive Chairman.

The companies will trade under Cedar Fair’s stock ticker FUN on the NYSE and will be structured as a C Corporation. The combined company will be headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, and will maintain significant finance and administrative operations in Sandusky, Ohio.

The merger has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies in a historic deal whereby Cedar Fair will own approximately 51.2%, with Six Flags shareholders owning approximately 48.8%.

Approximately £164m of annual synergies, including £98m of cost savings are anticipated within two years following the close of the deal. It’s also forecast to generate £2.9 Billion in revenue.

Cedar Fair and Six Flags obtain a strong market value £1.5 Billion and £1.4 billion respectively.

It represents a landmark agreement as the combined enterprises have a value of approximately £6.5 Billion.

It is a deal which will change the very landscape of the leisure industry with two major players of the industry uniting together to diversify its leisure activities. A wealth of experience and knowledge lies in the new combined entity overseeing an impressive portfolio of 27 amusement parks, 15 water parks and nine resort properties across 17 states in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. 

Both Cedar Fair and Six Flags operate iconic parks in North America with significant brand equity and loyal, recurring guest bases.

The agreement also includes the licensing rights to important IP such as Looney Tunes and DC Comics.

It also gives both entities greater power against thcompetition in SeaWorld, Comcast-owned Universal Studios and Disney,

“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,” said Richard Zimmerman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cedar Fair. 

“Together, we will have an expanded and complementary portfolio of attractive assets and intellectual property to deliver engaging entertainment experiences for guests. The combination also creates an enhanced financial profile with strong cash flow generation to accelerate investments in our parks to delight our guests, driving increased levels of demand and in-park value and spending. 

“I have great respect for the Six Flags team and look forward to joining forces as we embark on this next chapter together.”

Meanwhile, Selim Bassoul, President and Chief Executive Officer of Six Flags, said: “The combination of Six Flags and Cedar Fair will redefine our guests’ amusement park experience as we combine the best of both companies.

“Six Flags and Cedar Fair share a strong cultural alignment, operating philosophy, and steadfast commitment to providing consumers with thrilling experiences. By combining our operational models and technology platforms, we expect to accelerate our transformation activities and unlock new potential for our parks. 

“We are excited to unite the Cedar Fair and Six Flags teams to capitalize on the tremendous growth opportunities and operational efficiencies of our combined platform for the benefit of our guests, shareholders, employees, and other stakeholders.”

The merger is expected to close in the first half of 2024.

Image: Six Flags