SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, which is owned by The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX) has increased the amount it’s trying to raise in its initial public offering.
The park filed for its IPO back in December and originally applied for a $100 million IPO at that point; during that time it also considered raising that amount. On Monday, it officially raised the amount to $500 million.
Reuters reports that SeaWorld is looking for a $2.5 billion valuation. It has set its price range between $24 and $27 per share. The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX) plans to use the money raised through the IPO to pay off some of the park’s debt.
When SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment officially begins trading, it will do so under the ticker symbol “SEAS” on the New York Stock Exchange. Blackstone has said it will retain most of the company’s voting rights after the IPO, which is expected to happen this year.
SeaWorld owns 11 different theme parks, which includes parks not just under the SeaWorld name but also Busch Gardens and Sesame Place. The company looks after more than 67,000 animals across all its parks. The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX) acquired SeaWorld in 2009 for $2.3 billion from Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (ADR) (NYSE: BUD) (EBR:ABI).
Reuters notes that the volume of IPOs in the U.S. rose approximately 65 percent during the first quarter of the year as stock prices have risen and private-equity firms looked to take advantage of those higher prices. Also amusement park company stocks have proven resilient in the weak economy.
Six Flags Entertainment Corp (NYSE:SIX) and Cedar Fair, L.P. (NYSE:FUN) shares have both risen meaningfully since the beginning of the year.