MBK Partners, a leading private equity company in South Korea, has bought five maritime theme parks in mainland China.

The company has paid $1bn for the five theme parks, which it bought off Hong Kong-listed Haichang Ocean Park Holdings, as a means of tapping into China’s growth potential in amusement parks.

The theme parks are located in Qingdao, Chengdu, Wuhan and Tianjin. The fifth park is under construction in Zhengzhou.

MBK is already an investor in Universal Studios Japan.

The sale of the assets in MBK is part of Haichang’s disposal programme. The sale will mean Haichang’s sole theme park is a maritime park built on the banks of the Dishui Lake close to the Yangshan deep water port in Shanghai.

The park is the largest of its kind in mainland China.