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SeaWorld Raises Amount Sought in Initial Offer to $500 Million

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April 8 (Bloomberg) -- SeaWorld Entertainment Inc., the aquatic theme-park operator owned by Blackstone Group LP, boosted the amount it plans to raise from an initial public offering to $500 million.

The company disclosed the new placeholder amount in a regulatory filing today, without setting a specific price range. Orlando-based SeaWorld filed for a U.S. IPO with a $100 million placeholder amount in December.

Blackstone, the world’s biggest private-equity firm, is moving ahead with the IPO as soon as this month after rejecting takeover bids for the theme-park operator, a person familiar with the matter said last week. Apollo Global Management LLC and Onex Corp. each made bids for Orlando-based SeaWorld, people with knowledge of the matter said in February.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are leading the IPO for the theme-park company. SeaWorld plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SEAS.

Blackstone took control of SeaWorld after agreeing in 2009 to buy Anheuser-Busch InBev NV’s amusement-park business in a deal then valued at as much as $2.7 billion. SeaWorld, which competes with Walt Disney Co. and Six Flags Entertainment Corp., runs almost a dozen amusement parks in states such as Florida, California and Texas.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lee Spears in New York at lspears3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeffrey McCracken at jmccracken3@bloomberg.net

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