Fourth acquisition for Advent leisure group

Parques Reunidos, a Spanish theme park operator, has made a French firm its fourth overseas acquisition since being acquired by Advent International two and a half years ago.

Parques Reunidos, a Spanish leisure industry operator, has acquired 100 percent ownership of Marineland Antibes for an undisclosed sum. Marineland Antibes owns the largest marine park in France, famed for its killer whale and dolphin shows.

Marineland becomes Parques Reunidos’ fourth international footprint since it was acquired by global private equity firm Advent International in a €165 million public-to-private buyout in December 2003. The firm has also acquired: Belgian theme park Bobbejaaland; Norwegian water and family park Bo Sommarland; and 50 percent of Argentine aquapark Acuario del Mar de Plata.

Parques Reunidos was formed in 1967 to operate an amusement park concession in Casa de Campo, Madrid, which was granted by Madrid Town Hall. It has expanded through the acquisition of amusement parks, animal parks, water parks and cable railway. Having previously made domestic acquisitions, it is only under Advent’s ownership that the firm has expanded globally.

According to an Advent spokesperson, Parques Reunidos represented a typical Advent strategy of investing in companies “which operate or seek to expand internationally, and capitalising on consolidation opportunities”.

Aside from Advent, the other shareholders in Parques Reunidos comprise Morgan Stanley, Standard Life and its senior management team.