Blackstone Sells 15M SeaWorld Shares, Relinquishes Controlling - FOX 35 News Orlando

Blackstone Sells 15M SeaWorld Shares, Relinquishes Controlling Stake

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Private-equity firm Blackstone sold another 15 million of its shares in SeaWorld (SEAS) on Monday, reducing its stake to 25% and relinquishing its majority control over the theme park operator.

The sale could fetch Blackstone as much as $500 million at the stock's current value.

SeaWorld also said it is in "active discussions" with Blackstone about a possible repurchase by the company of 1.75 million of those shares in a separate transaction.

Blackstone in December sold 18 million shares of SeaWorld at $30 a share. SeaWorld as part of that deal repurchased 1.5 million of its shares directly from Blackstone for $44.2 million.

The two offered up a combined 26 million shares in April during SeaWorld's market debut. The stock priced at $27. Shares of SeaWorld fell 4.3% to $31.73 on Monday, putting them down about 5.2% since their April initial public offering.  

SeaWorld earlier this month reported a deeper fourth-quarter loss but stronger revenues.

It continues to be embroiled in controversy regarding the treatment of the wild animals used in its shows, triggered from the 2013 documentary "Blackfish."

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