Blackstone Group clinches $2.7-billion deal to acquire theme parks from Anheuser-Busch InBev

Private-equity firm, Blackstone Group has clinched the deal to acquire the second largest entertainment park operator in the US, Busch Entertainment Corporation's (BEC) 10 theme parks from Anheuser-Busch InBev for $2.7 billion.

Blackstone Group, the world's largest private-equity firm with $93.5 billion of assets under management had said on Wednesday that it had reached a definitive agreement with Anheuser-Busch InBev to acquire Busch Entertainment for up to $2.7 billion. (See: Blackstone in talks to acquire Anheuser-Busch theme parks: report)

The purchase price comprises a cash payment on closing of $2.3 billion and a right to participate in Blackstone's return on its initial investment capped at $400 million, said Blackstone.

The deal to acquire the 10 theme parks, which draw approximately 25 million visitors annually and employ 25,000 people, was reported to be finalised late last week by the Blackstone Group.

Blackstone Group will raise $1.5 billion in bank financing with 5 to 7-year maturities to fund the acquisition, while Goldman Sachs and GSO Capital Partners, will advance $450 million in mezzanine financing.

The senior credit facilities will be provided by Bank od America Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Goldman Sachs Loan Partners and Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd. The mezzanine financing is being provided by Goldman Sachs Mezzanine Partners and funds managed by GSO Capital Partners LP.