The thing I’ve been dreading for months is starting to happen. The newly formed Anhueser-Busch InBev is starting to sell off Busch Entertainment Corp., the parent company of the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens parks around the country. The writing had been on the wall since AB was purchased by InBev last year. Almost immediately, analyst predicted that the Belgian brewer would likely sell of the non-core businesses and focus on beer. UK-based Merlin Entertainment and Spanish company Parques Reunidos are among the earyl bidders.
Read the full story at the Orlando Sentinel
Six Flags and Disney have been mentioned as bidders, but I can’t see either of them really making a play for the Busch parks. Six Flags had a better year in 2008, but they’re still strapped for cash. I can’t recall Disney ever buying a pre-existing park. Besides, if they Disney-fied several regional parks around the country, then Disney World and Disneyland might lose their appeal as a destination. It’d be good for me as it’s only a matter of time before my daughter’s going to want to go to Disney World. I’d much rather drive up to Virginia for a Disney fix rather than fly or drive 8 hours to Orlando. Still, I doubt Disney would buy the parks.
What’s Your Take?
Who do you think will buy the Busch Parks? Leave a comment below.