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Monday, October 5, 2009

A-B InBev Planning Billion-Dollar Sale of Busch Gardens and Sea World

Posted By on Mon, Oct 5, 2009 at 1:30 PM

First they stopped giving away free beer at SeaWorld and Busch Gardens. Then they cut off the two cases of beer per month stipend paid to theme-park employees. Now comes word they're plan to sell the magic kingdoms full of overpriced food and beverages and incarcerated sea creatures to one of the world's largest investment firms.

Oh InBev, don't you know how to have any fun?

Rumors are swirling that the Blackstone Group is offering around $3 billion (!) for the theme parks. Yes, your company is $52 billion in debt from buying out St. Louis' largest brewer. But heck, don't you realize that owning acres and acres of roller coasters and exotic wildlife is the American dream? Oops, you're Belgian. Never mind.

The St. Louis Business Journal has the details on the impending sale:

Blackstone Group, the world's largest private-equity firm, may buy A-B InBev's theme parks, which include SeaWorld and Busch Gardens, for about $2.5 billion to $3 billion, unnamed sources told The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News.

An agreement may come as soon as this week, according to the media reports.

Representatives of Blackstone and A-B InBev have declined to comment.

New York-based Blackstone co-owns Universal Orlando with NBC Universal, a unit of Fairfield, Conn.-based General Electric Co.
Blackstone also owns Madame Tussaud's wax museum in addition to Universal Orlando so they'll be uniquely equipped to handle all the incidents at Busch Gardens like lions biting people's arms off, geese flying into the faces of Italian fashion models, multiple heart attacks, and hemophiliacs dying of septic shock.

On second thought, maybe cutting off the workers' beer stipend was a good idea after all.

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