MidOcean sells water parks for $330m

Private equity firm MidOcean Partners has sold its Palace Entertainment portfolio to European amusement park operator Parques Reunidos.

Private equity firm MidOcean Partners has agreed to sell Palace Entertainment, owner and operator of water parks and family entertainment centers in the US, to European leisure park operator Parques Reunidos in a transaction valued at approximately $330 million (€242 million). MidOcean acquired Palace in 2006.

“We are pleased with the progress that we have made at Palace Entertainment during our ownership,” Tyler Zachem, managing director of MidOcean, said in a statement. “With our prior experience investing in the leisure sector, we were able to bring significant management resources to Palace and have grown the business both organically and through acquisition.”

Palace Entertainment currently operates 33 water parks in the US including Wet ‘N Wild in Greensboro, North Carolina; Raging Waters in San Dimas, San Jose and Sacramento, California; Splish Splash in Riverhead, New York; Big Kahuna’s in Destin, Florida; Water Country in Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Mountain Creek in Vernon, New Jersey and Wild Waters in Ocala, Florida.

The company also owns the Boomers, Castle Park, Silver Springs, Malibu Grand Prix, Mountasia and Speedzone family entertainment centers in the US.
“Palace Entertainment operates many well known and highly attended water parks and family entertainment centers, and we are pleased to enter the US market with this acquisition,” Richard Golding, chief executive officer of Parques Reunidos, said in the statement. Headquartered in Madrid, the company is majority owned by European buyout firm Candover. It currently has 28 parks in eight countries including amusement parks, animal parks and water parks.

MidOcean Partners, based in New York and London, invests in the US and European consumer and leisure, media and communications, business services and industrials sector. The firm was spun out of Deutsche Bank in 2003.

The deal, announced today, is expected to close this quarter.