PARAMOUNT COMMUNICATIONS WILL ENTER THEME PARK BUSINESS BY ACQUIRING KINGS ENTERTAINMENT AND KINGS ISLAND PARK
PARAMOUNT COMMUNICATIONS WILL ENTER THEME PARK BUSINESS
BY ACQUIRING KINGS ENTERTAINMENT AND KINGS ISLAND PARK
NEW YORK, July 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Paramount Communications Inc. (NYSE: PCI) today announced it will enter the theme park business by acquiring Kings Entertainment Company, the owner of three major regional theme parks, and Kings Island, the theme park owned by American Financial Corporation and operated by Kings Entertainment, for a total of approximately $400 million.
The theme parks owned by Kings Entertainment are Kings Dominion, located near Richmond, Va.; Great America, in Santa Clara, Calif., near San Jose; and Carowinds, located near Charlotte, N.C. The Kings Island theme park is located outside of Cincinnati. These theme parks, along with Canada's Wonderland, located near Toronto, in which Kings Entertainment holds a 20 percent ownership interest and has an agreement to manage, attract a total of more than 11 million visitors annually.
Combined revenues of Kings Entertainment and Kings Island, which will become part of Paramount Parks, a newly formed subsidiary of Paramount Communications, are expected to exceed $250 million this year. Nelson Schwab, who leads the group of investors selling Kings Entertainment and serves as the company's chairman and chief executive officer, will continue in those positions with Paramount Parks. Schwab is a 16-year veteran of the theme park business.
Definitive agreements to acquire Kings Entertainment parks and Kings Island park have been signed, with a closing expected in early August on the former and in early October for the latter.
Martin S. Davis, chairman and chief executive officer of Paramount Communications, said, "The theme park business is a natural extension of our operations and provides unlimited opportunities to leverage our unique 'software' assets, which include motion pictures, television and publishing, and to expand the live entertainment capabilities of our Madison Square Garden.
"The Kings Entertainment parks," Davis added, "are located in attractive metropolitan areas, are well-maintained and are well-run. They provide an ideal base for expansion in the regional theme park business, which has strong margins and steady growth prospects. We intend to fully explore all opportunities, including adding other parks, either through direct ownership, joint venture or partnership, both in the U.S. and abroad."
Stanley R. Jaffe, president and chief operating officer of Paramount Communications, noted that theme parks "will expand the distribution chain and the revenue-generating potential of Paramount's creative products. We invest more than $1 billion annually creating, promoting and merchandising Paramount products and characters in the North American market. This creates significant awareness among primary theme park guests, who are also the primary audience for Paramount films and television programs.
"Using these natural marketing themes," Jaffe said, "we can marry our software with the theme park 'hardware', re-theming existing rides, attractions and facilities, adding new ones and creating excitement that brings more people through the park gates. Our unique cross-marketing capability adds significant value to the parks, well beyond what most regional theme park operators can deliver today. In addition, the parks also provide significant new merchandising outlets for our widely recognized entertainment and publishing products.
"Kings Entertainment also stages and produces live entertainment programs and presents these and other acts at each park in indoor/outdoor amphitheaters holding from 8,000 to 13,000 people," Jaffe added. "We have significant resources in this area stemming from our experience at our 20,000-seat Madison Square Garden arena and The Paramount, which seats 5,600. We intend now to use that expertise to book acts that will tour all of these venues, thereby increasing efficiency and enhancing revenue streams."
Kings Entertainment's wholly owned theme parks will become part of Paramount Communications' entertainment operations, utilizing the resources of both Paramount Pictures and Madison Square Garden.
In addition to Paramount Pictures, Paramount Television and Madison Square Garden, Paramount Communications operations in entertainment include six independent broadcast stations in key United States markets; jointly-owned USA Networks; and motion picture theaters in the U.S., Canada and overseas. Through such well-known imprints as Simon & Schuster, Prentice Hall, Silver Burdett Ginn and Pocket Books, Paramount Communications is America's leading publisher of educational texts and materials and has significant operations serving the consumer, business and professional book publishing markets.
/CONTACT: Jerry Sherman, 212-373-8725, or Carl Folta, 212-373-8530, both of Paramount Communications/
(PCI) CO: Paramount Communications Inc.; Kings Entertainment Company ST: New York IN: ENT SU: TNM
GK-LR -- NY027 -- 5572 07/31/92 11:41 EDT