Two iconic Southern California theme parks, Six Flags Magic Mountain and Knott’s Berry Farm, would come under the same ownership as part of a mega-merger announced Thursday that is set to reshape the industry.
Consolidating two of the nation’s largest amusement park giants is estimated to increase the value of the combined company by $200 million over three years, through anticipated operational and administrative savings, as well as an increase in revenue, according to an announcement from the companies.
The pending merger, which awaits regulatory and shareholder approvals, is expected to close in the first six months of 2024. The unified company would be worth an estimated $8 billion, according to both companies.
“The combination of Six Flags and Cedar Fair will redefine our guests’ amusement park experience as we combine the best of both companies,” Selim Bassoul, president and chief executive of Six Flags, said in a statement. “We are excited to unite the Cedar Fair and Six Flags teams to capitalize on the tremendous growth opportunities and operational efficiencies of our combined platform for the benefit of our guests, shareholders, employees, and other stakeholders.”
Six Flags Entertainment Corp., based in Texas, operates the Magic Mountain park in Valencia as part of its nationwide portfolio; Ohio-based Cedar Fair has owned and operated Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park since 1997. Both parks operate seasonal water parks: Hurricane Harbor at Magic Mountain, and Soak City at Knott’s Berry Farm.
The merged company will include 27 amusement parks, 15 water parks and nine resort properties across 17 states, Canada and Mexico.
“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,” said Richard Zimmerman, president and chief executive of Cedar Fair.
The unified company plans to offer what it described as “expanded park access” to passholders as well as an “enhanced, combined loyalty program.”
Upon approval, the merged company will move its headquarters to Charlotte, N.C., and operate under the name Six Flags.