The Blackstone Group has entered into an agreement to acquire Anheuser-Busch InBev's theme park division Busch Entertainment for $2.3 billion. The deal also includes a contingent payout of up to $400 million to AB InBev based on Blackstone's future Busch Entertainment-generated profits. The deal includes an estimated $1.4 billion of debt and $900 million of equity. The group of 10 parks, which includes three SeaWorld parks and two Bush Gardens parks, is the second busiest in the U.S. with 25 million annual visitors. BofA Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, and Mizuho Corporate Bank are providing senior debt. Mezzanine financing is being provided by GS Mezzanine Partners and GSO Capital Partners.
Blackstone's $2.3 billion deal is the largest LBO announced so far in 2009. There have been six other private equity related investments announced or completed over $1 billion so far in 2009, according to the PitchBook Platform. The Silver Lake Partners-led $2.025 billion deal for Skype announced in September is the second biggest LBO of 2009. The largest deal completed in 2009 is the Macquarie Infrastructure-led $7.4 billion acquisition of Puget Sound Energy, although it was first announced in 2007.