Six Flags, Cedar Fair complete merger to create amusement park powerhouse

FILE - Rollercoasters at Six Flags Magic Mountain theme park in Valencia, California, on Nov. 4, 2023. Photographer: Eric Thayer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The merger of Cedar Fair and Six Flags was completed this week, creating an amusement park powerhouse with operations spread across 17 U.S. states and three countries.

The successful completion of the merger was announced on Monday by the combined company "Six Flags Entertainment Corporation," now worth more than $3.5 billion. 

It boasts 27 amusement parks, 15 water parks and nine resort properties in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, and also has entertainment partnerships and a portfolio of intellectual property including Looney Tunes, DC Comics and Peanuts.

"We believe that by combining the best ideas and most successful entertainment practices of both Six Flags and Cedar Fair, the new Six Flags can deliver a superior level of joy and excitement that has yet to be experienced by regional park guests," Selim Bassoul, executive chairman of the board of directors of Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, said in a statement. 

Amusement parks have not bounced back from the pandemic as quickly as other entertainment industries and a tie-up between two huge players is expected to at least lower costs.

Six Flags and Cedar Fair, which have little geographical overlap, anticipate $120 million in cost savings within two years of closing the deal.

Six Flags and Cedar Fair have talked about potential deals before, with Six Flags previously making an offer for Cedar Fair in 2019, but it was turned down. SeaWorld approached Cedar Fair with a bid in 2022, but that proposal was also rejected.

Under the agreement first announced in November, Cedar Fair unitholders will receive one share of common stock in the combined company for each unit owned, while Six Flags shareholders will receive 0.5800 shares in the combined company for each share owned.

Cedar Fair unitholders will own approximately 51.2% of the combined company, while Six Flags shareholders will own about 48.8%.

The new company is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is keeping significant finance and administrative operations in Sandusky, Ohio, where Cedar Fair is based.

"Each park in the combined company’s portfolio will retain their legacy branding with no changes to park names currently being planned or contemplated," this week’s announcement noted. 

This story was reported from Cincinnati. The Associated Press contributed.