CEDAR FAIR TO RETAIN OWNERSHIP OF ITS CALIFORNIA'S GREAT AMERICA PARK
SANDUSKY, OHIO, December 6, 2011 –Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and active entertainment announced today that JMA Ventures, LLC (“JMA”) has elected to not move forward with their purchase of California’s Great America amusement park in Santa Clara, California. As a result of JMA’s actions, the definitive purchase agreement governing this transaction, originally agreed on September 16, 2011, has been terminated.
- Valuable property expected to remain strong performer for Cedar Fair going forward
- Company reaches agreement with the San Francisco 49ers on parking and construction issues
- Expects to achieve high end of its annual distribution target of $1.35 to $1.65 per unit in 2012, and $2.00 or more in 2013
“We respect JMA’s decision and are pleased to return to the long-term ownership of this exceptional property,” said Matt Ouimet, Cedar Fair’s president. “As we stated at the time the agreement was made, this is a quality park that has terrific employees and serves a strong market. We look forward to continuing to take advantage of the synergies which are uniquely available to us as a result of operating this park as part of our larger portfolio of properties.”
According to Ouimet, the termination of this sale does not alter the Company’s expectations of achieving record adjusted EBITDA between $365 million and $375 million in 2011. “In fact, we expect to be at the higher end of our original distribution guidance of $1.35 to $1.65 per limited partner unit in 2012,” he said. “With continued growth in our annual distribution rates and additional debt reduction through our improved operating performance, we believe Cedar Fair will maintain its position as one of the most attractive growth and yield stories in the leisure and hospitality industry.”
The Company also announced that it has reached a long-term agreement with the San Francisco 49ers related to the construction of the stadium and parking for NFL and other stadium-related events for the life of the new stadium. The agreement is still subject to the execution of a definitive agreement and the approval of the Stadium Authority and related approvals from the City of Santa Clara.
“The combination of an NFL stadium and a premier amusement park in one location offers tremendous and exciting opportunities for family entertainment. We are excited to reach an agreement on construction issues and parking that are important to the stadium project,” said Jed York, president and chief executive officer of the San Francisco 49ers.
“This arrangement leads the way to a mutually beneficial relationship between Cedar Fair, the 49ers and the City of Santa Clara,” added Ouimet. “California’s Great America was a strong performer in 2011 and we are confident this will continue into the future as we build the park’s customer base through new marketing initiatives and capital investments.”
About Cedar Fair “Cedar Fair is a publicly traded partnership headquartered in Sandusky, Ohio, and one of the largest regional amusement-resort operators in the world. The Company owns and operates 11 amusement parks, six outdoor water parks, one indoor water park and five hotels. Its parks are located in Ohio, California, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Missouri, Michigan, and Toronto, Ontario. Cedar Fair also operates the Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park in California under a management contract. Cedar Fair’s flagship park, Cedar Point, has been consistently voted the “Best Amusement Park in the World” in a prestigious annual poll conducted by Amusement Today newspaper.
Some of the statements contained in this news release constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements as to the Company's expectations, beliefs and strategies regarding the future. These statements may involve risk and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in such statements. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to have been correct. Important factors, including general economic conditions, adverse weather conditions, competition for consumer leisure time and spending, unanticipated construction delays and other factors discussed from time to time by the Company in reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) could affect attendance at our parks and cause actual results to differ materially from the Company's expectations. Additional information on risk factors that may affect the business and financial results of the Company can be found in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and in the filings of the Company made from time to time with the SEC. The Company undertakes no obligation to correct or update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.