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05 August 2018 Posted by 


Profit plunge opens opportunity
A LEADING Spanish entertainment park operator has entered the Australian leisure market for the first time with the purchase of a Western Sydney theme park for $40M.

Parques Reunidos, one of the world’s significant leisure park operators, said the acquisition of Wet‘n’Wild, at Prospect, was the first step for expansion in the southern hemisphere.
“This is a unique opportunity for Parques Reunidos to access the Australian market [and] grow in the region through further acquisitions and develop indoor entertainment centres,” said Fernando Eiroa, CEO, of Parques Reunidos.
“Our group’s global presence includes [60] operations and projects across Europe, the US, Asia, the Middle East and now Australia”.
Parques Reunidos said it was always on the lookout to acquire new assets to strengthen its position as the number one water park operator worldwide.
Its expansion in Australia represented “a step forward” to reduce business exposure to external factors
The company said the peak summer season, in Australia ran during the low season in Europe and US boosting its annual revenue.
Wet‘n’Wild’s owners, Village Roadshow, said the Spanish group's experience in the sector “will be able to add value and enhance Wet'n'Wild Sydney's performance over the coming years”.
In addition to the $40M sale price, Village Roadshow will receive payment that will depend on the park's revenue performance up to June 30, 2020.
Village Roadshow expects a pre-tax loss of approximately $25M in 2017-18.
The company, which owns theme parks Warner Bros, Movie World and Sea World on the Gold Boast, said proceeds “will be used to reduce Village Roadshow’s debt levels”.
The transaction is expected to complete in the first quarter of the 2019 financial year.
Construction of Wet’n’Wild commenced in September 2012 on a 25-hectare site, at Prospect, aiming to be one of the top 10 water parks in the world – the $140M venue opened in December 2013.
Wet‘n’Wild’s takings fell 66 per cent to $3.1M in the year to June 30, 2017, down from $9M a year earlier.
Australian theme parks have reportedly suffered lower patronage since a fatal accident claimed four lives at Village Roadshow rival Ardent Leisure's Dreamworld theme park on the Gold Coast in October, 2016.



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