Advent bids for Spanish leisure group

Spanish theme park operator Parques Reunidos has confirmed that it is considering a E147m offer for the business from Advent International.

Parques Reunidos, Spain’s largest theme park operator, is the subject of a E6.10 per share public to private offer from Advent International, the US private equity.


In a statement to the Madrid Stock Exchange, Parque Reunidos confirmed that it had received an offer from Global Private Equity IV, the $1.9bn fund closed by Advent in January 2002, and had given the firm access to the company’s financial information. The E6.10 per share offer values the business at E147m.


The board of Parques Reunidos said it had been advised by the group’s major shareholders that they would not sell their shares in the business until a firm offer is received. Prior to the announcement, the company’s shares were trading at E5.55 per share.


Parques Reunidos made a net loss of E300,000 in the first nine months of the 2003 financial year. The business runs a range of theme parks in Spain including the Madrid zoo and a chain of water and safari parks. The business listed on the Madrid Stock Exchange in 1999 at E9.50 per share.


According to Reuters, shares in Parques Reunidos have risen 136 per cent this year amid speculation over a possible takeover. The offer of 6.10 euros a share comes in below the E9.00 per share valuation put on the business in July of this year.


Advent’s most recent Spanish deal came in June 2003 when the firm sold its interest in Alcala Farma, doubling its money four years after backing the business in 1999. The business was sold in two portions to pharmaceutical groups in Croatia and Italy. The generics division was sold to Pliva Pharma Holding, the Croatian pharmaceuticals group. The branded products division was sold to the Spanish arm of Italy’s Chiesi Farmaceutici.