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Cedar Fair Purchases Paramount Parks

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Press Release Source: Cedar Fair, L.P.

 

Cedar Fair, L.P. to Acquire Paramount Parks

 

SANDUSKY, Ohio, May 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Cedar Fair, L.P. (NYSE: FUN - News), a publicly traded partnership which owns and operates seven amusement parks and five water parks, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement for the acquisition of the Paramount Parks. Cedar Fair, L.P. will acquire the stock of Paramount Parks, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS - News; NYSE: CBSA - News) for a cash purchase price of $1.24 billion.

 

The five Paramount Parks consist of Canada's Wonderland near Toronto, Canada; Kings Island near Cincinnati, Ohio; Kings Dominion near Richmond, Virginia; Carowinds near Charlotte, North Carolina; and Great America located in Santa Clara, California.

 

"This transaction offers a unique opportunity for us to acquire a world- class asset portfolio," said Dick Kinzel, Cedar Fair's chairman, president and chief executive officer. "It is not every day that we have the chance to purchase five great family-oriented parks that fit extremely well with our existing parks. This acquisition will provide exciting new growth opportunities and the potential for meaningful incremental free cash flow as we realize $20-$30 million in annual cash flow synergies over the next 3-5 years. It will also add significant geographic diversity to our portfolio of parks and improve our position as one of the largest regional amusement park operators in the world."

 

In 2005, the Paramount Parks generated revenues of approximately $423 million while entertaining 12.2 million guests. Cedar Fair reported $569 million in revenues and 12.7 million guest visits. On a combined basis, the two companies generated almost $1 billion in revenues and entertained approximately 25 million guests in 2005.

 

The transaction is subject to conditions, including regulatory approval and other terms and conditions customary for transactions of this type, and is expected to close during the third quarter. Further details were not disclosed.

 

Cedar Fair was advised by Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. and Rothschild, Inc., and Bear Stearns is providing $2.0 billion in committed financing in support of the transaction. Squire, Sanders & Dempsey LLP provided legal counsel to Cedar Fair.

 

Cedar Fair's seven amusement parks are Cedar Point, located on Lake Erie between Cleveland and Toledo; Knott's Berry Farm near Los Angeles in Buena Park, California; Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom near Allentown, Pennsylvania; Valleyfair near Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota; Worlds of Fun, located in Kansas City, Missouri; Geauga Lake & Wildwater Kingdom near Cleveland, Ohio; and Michigan's Adventure near Muskegon, Michigan. The Partnership's water parks are located near San Diego and in Palm Springs, California, and adjacent to Cedar Point, Knott's Berry Farm and Worlds of Fun. Cedar Fair also owns and operates the Castaway Bay Indoor Waterpark Resort in Sandusky, Ohio. Cedar Fair's flagship park, Cedar Point, has been voted the "Best Amusement Park in the World" for eight consecutive years in a prestigious annual poll conducted by Amusement Today newspaper.

 

Mr. Kinzel will host two conference calls and webcasts to discuss the acquisition. The first call will be to answer investor and analyst questions and is to be held at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Monday, May 22, 2006. The second call to answer questions from the media as well as follow up on any additional questions from the investment community will be held at 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time. These calls can be accessed at 1-800-231-5571. The live conference call and presentation slides may be accessed in "listen only" mode via the Cedar Fair web site (http://www.cedarfair.com). Both conference calls will be made available for replay starting at approximately 4:00 p.m. ET, Monday, May 22, 2006, until 11:59 p.m. ET, Monday, June 5, 2006. In order to access the replay of the conference call, please dial 1-877-519-4471 followed by the access code 7426624 for the investor call and access code 7426623 for the media call.

 

Editors: B-roll of Cedar Fair's flagship amusement park, Cedar Point, is available for download via satellite: Date: May 22, 2006. Time: 10:00 to 10:15 EDT. Satellite: AMC 2. Transponder: 1. Audio: 6.2 MHz. 6.8 MHz. Down Link: 11720 Vertical Down. Trouble #: (440) 838-5377 Ext 254. Technical Contact: Jerry Patton, Classic Worldwide Productions, 5001 East Royalton Road, Cleveland, OH 44147. Phone: (440) 838-5377. Fax: (440) 838-1240.

 

Some of the statements contained in this news release constitute forward- looking statements. These statements may involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in such statements. Although the Partnership believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to have been correct. Important factors, including general economic conditions, competition for consumer leisure time and spending, adverse weather conditions, unanticipated construction delays and other factors could affect attendance at our parks and cause actual results to differ materially from the Partnership's expectations. In addition, risks and uncertainties concerning the acquisition include, but are not limited to, regulatory approval, the timely receipt of financing and the fulfillment of other specified closing conditions.

 

PARK FACTS

 

Cedar Fair, L.P. Paramount Parks

 

Cedar Point & Soak City Kings Island

- Sandusky, Ohio - Cincinnati, Ohio

- Founded 1870 - Founded 1972

- 3.5 million visitors - 3.1 million visitors

(includes water park) - more than 55 rides and

- more than 65 rides and attractions

attractions - 453 acres

- 365 acres

 

Knott's Berry Farm Canada's Wonderland

- Buena Park, California - Toronto, Ontario

- Founded 1920, Acquired 1997 - Founded 1981

- 3.6 million visitors - 3.3 million visitors

- 755,000 visitors at three - more than 70 rides and

California Soak City water parks attractions

- more than 40 rides and attractions - 295 acres

- 160 acres

 

Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom Kings Dominion

- Allentown, Pennsylvania - Richmond, Virginia

- Founded 1884, Acquired 1992 - Founded 1975

- 1.5 million visitors - 2.1 million visitors

- more than 75 rides and - more than 55 rides and

attractions attractions

- 200 acres - 264 acres

 

Valleyfair Carowinds

- Shakopee, Minnesota - Charlotte, North Carolina

- Founded 1976, Acquired 1978 - Founded 1973

- 986,000 visitors - 1.9 million visitors

- more than 40 rides and attractions - 45 rides and attractions

- 160 acres - 246 acres

 

Worlds of Fun & Oceans of Fun Great America

- Kansas City, Missouri - Santa Clara, California

- Founded 1973, Acquired 1995 - Founded 1976

- 1.1 million visitors - 1.8 million visitors

- more than 40 rides and - more than 50 rides and

attractions attractions

- 350 acres - 180 acres (leased)

 

Geauga Lake & Wildwater Kingdom

- Cleveland, Ohio

- Founded 1888, Acquired 2004

- 700,000 visitors

- more than 50 rides and attractions

- 670 acres

 

Michigan's Adventure

- Muskegon, Michigan

- Founded 1988, Acquired 2001

- 550,000 visitors

- more than 50 rides and attractions

- 235 acres

 

This press release and prior press releases are available online at http://www.cedarfair.com.

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What has been long suspected is now confirmed. All worries aside, I think this is the best thing that could have happened. The amazing part to me is that both CBS Corp. and Cedar Fair are admitting that the money will be given in CASH. Good grief, who's going to handle that money? Furthermore, I wonder if they could beat me up, cause I would love to run into those people. Anywho, Goodbye Croc Dundee Boomerang Bay. He couldn't keep it going for 3 years. He should have came to PKI when he was supposed to cristen the park, but didn't, probably why Paramount is getting sold in the first place :rolleyes: . PKI is about to get a makeover like you wouldn't believe in the next couple years.

Edited by PKILIfeguard

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There will not be any changes to the park this year. I'd say that the themes will not change right off and if CF buys the rights, they could keep the logos and themes. Let's hope that the money goes into new rides and NOT changing the themes, signs, etc.

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^^ ya, it would be a shame if they had to change all the new NU stuff. and hopefully the keep the paramount rides. (but i kinda hope they do something to Top Gun)

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Well, with the comments that Dick Kinzel made on the conference call, I am much less worried about what CF may do to KI. His "If it aint broke, no need to fix it" mentality doesn't sound like a bad thing for any of the Paramount parks.

 

In all honesty, I could care less about most of the Paramount movie stuff minus Nickelodeon. I do kindof wish the names Face/Off and Drop Zone will stay though. They can just take out the movie references and you've still got two great names for rides. Top Gun isn't all that bad either, but it would be to hard to keep that the same without keeping licenses.

 

Now the only thing that worries me is the addition of attractions. So far CF's consistency of building new attractions every year is not high except at Cedar Point. But if KI can keep up their attendance, CF may give them new attractions more often. That comparison with CP in the article kindof suggests that I think.

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I do kindof wish the names Face/Off and Drop Zone will stay though. They can just take out the movie references and you've still got two great names for rides.

Drop Zone, I wonder how many people know thats a movie! The only thing themed to it in the park is a big banner in the middle of AZ!

 

Face/Off, Again, how many people know that was a movie?

 

-cough-ParamountMoviesArentBigHits-cough-

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Guest

Lately they have been. I can't name any, because I never care who is making the movies I watch, but I remember recently thinking "Wow, Paramount is making some good movies"

 

I also thought, "This movie would make a great roller coaster" ;_;

 

AS for my thoughts on Top Gun, it's the thing that could be named Maverick, not Cedar Point's 2007 coaster. Not only is Maverick the real main character in Top Gun, Cedar Fair has it copyrighted. ;)

Edited by Guest

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Sky Captain was an O.K. film, but I don't understand why Paramount didn't decide to make a motion simulator film about it. To me, that would've made my day, instead of keeping the SpongeBob 3D ride another two years (05 and 06).

 

Now, I had an idea for a themed ride that I think that everyone would like, both thrill seekers and theme park fanatics alike, but now that Cedar Fair has bought the parks, I doubt they (or you guys) would want to hear another boring ride pitch idea.

 

The CORE: Meltdown

Based off of the hot 2004 flick of the same name, Meltdown sends guests plummeting into the center of the Earth in an attempt to rescue trapped scientists from underground and put an end to Nature's destructive forces. Utilizing the technology of Bolliger and Mabillard's Dive Machine Roller Coaster and special effects wizardry from Paramount Parks' past projects (including The Italian Job: Stunt Track, Tomb Raider: The Ride, Flight of Fear and Tomb Raider: Firefall), parkgoers can expect two face-first plunges into a living, breathing dragon of a volcano, and through a series of dive loops and tight turns, before making a crash landing into a pool of water to where guests skim across the lake.

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