The new combined company, worth over $3.5 billion, will keep the Six Flags name and will now operate a combined 27 amusement parks, 15 water parks, and nine resorts in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
The transaction has been approved by both companies’ boards, but still needs approval from Six Flags’ shareholders and is targeted to close in the first half of 2024.
As amusement parks around the country continue to struggle with raising attendance to pre-pandemic levels, the two parties anticipate around $120 million in cost savings within two years of officially closing the deal.
The companies believe that seasonal volatility in attendance numbers will die down as a result of their larger combined geographic footprint.
Upon the deal’s completion, California residents can expect the company to offer new combined passes that cover both Magic Mountain and Knott’s Berry Farm, as well as other amusement parks around the state, according to Los Angeles news outlet KTLA.
This isn’t the first time a deal between Six Flags and Cedar Fair has been discussed. Six Flags previously made an offer to purchase Cedar Fair in 2019, and SeaWorld had an offer rejected last year.
“Our merger with Six Flags will bring together two of North America’s iconic amusement park companies to establish a highly diversified footprint and a more robust operating model to enhance park offerings and performance,” Cedar Fair CEO Richard Zimmerman said in a statement.
Zimmerman will become president and CEO of the new company with Six Flags President and CEO Selim Bassoul assuming the role of executive chairman.
The combined company will be headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, but will also keep “significant finance and administrative operations” in Sandusky, Ohio, where Cedar Fair is based and operates the United States’ second-oldest active amusement park, Cedar Point.
Featured image from Six Flags Magic Mountain.