Beijing-based Zhonghong Zhuoye Group, a diversified holding company in the leisure, tourism and real estate sectors, will acquire Blackstone’s 21 per cent stake in SeaWorld Entertainment at about US$23 per share.
As part of the deal, SeaWorld will advise Zhonghong exclusively on the concept development and design of theme parks, water parks and family entertainment centres that will be operated by Zhonghong Holding – an affiliate of the group – in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.
SeaWorld San Diego
The Chinese company has entered into a stockholders agreement with SeaWorld to increase the size of its board to 11, which will include Yoshikazu Maruyama, president of Zhonghong Group's American operation, and Yongli Wang, chief strategy officer of Zhonghong Group.
The agreement also places restrictions on Zhonghong Group's ability to sell its interest in SeaWorld for two years and on its ability to acquire more than 24.9 per cent of SeaWorld's outstanding shares without the approval of the independent directors of SeaWorld's board.
When the deal closes in 2Q2017, Blackstone and its affiliates will no longer hold any interests in SeaWorld or have seats on SeaWorld's board.