Market wrap up: Blackstone purchases amusement parks for $2.7B

The Blackstone Group’s purchase of Busch Entertainment Corp. made a big splash in the LBO sector last week.

The transaction added to the sector’s deal volume as Blackstone paid about $2.7 billion to pick up the theme parks owner from Stichting Interbrew SA’s Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. subsidiary. After the close, Busch Entertainment, which operates 10 parks including SeaWorld in Orlando, was renamed SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment.

Blackstone purchased the theme park operator from Blackstone Capital Partners V.

The next largest LBO transaction so far this month is Prospect Capital Corp.’s acquisition of closed-end investment fund Patriot Capital Funding Inc. for $194.3 million. Prospect Capital lends to and invests in private and micro-cap public companies.

These transactions were a couple of the 12 LBO deals that Thomson Reuters (publisher of PE Week) tracked from Dec. 1 to Dec. 8. The four with disclosed financial terms had a combined value of $2.93 billion. Year-to-date deal volume climbed to $30.55 billion.

Fund-raising update

Fund-raising also improved to $60.69 billion for the previous week. Buyout and mezzanine shops brought the year-to-date tally higher with help from Hudson Clean Energy Partners. It closed its debut fund, Hudson Clean Energy Partners, with just over $1 billion in capital commitments. The fund was targeted at $1 billion. The Teaneck, N.J.-based firm invests in renewable power, alternative fuels, energy efficiency and storage.

C.P. Eaton Partners served as lead placement agent for the fund-raising effort.