By Linda Hall •
Updated: 13 Sep 2023 • 14:18
PORT AVENTURA: Spain’s first theme park is up for sale
Photo credit: CC/The Crypt
PORT AVENTURA’s owners, InvestIndustrial and KKR, plan to sell the Tarragona theme park with an asking price of around €1 billion.
Reports which first appeared in Spain’s financial daily, Cinco Dias, maintained that good results this summer and in 2022 will have prompted the theme park’s investment fund owners’ decision to sell.
Port Aventura, Spain’s first theme park, had 5.1 million visitors in 2022, not far short of 2019’s record 5.2 million attendees. Inside sources are confident that when the 2023 season comes to an end, the installation will have beaten the pre-pandemic figure.
According to 2021 accounts filed with the Registro Mercantil – equivalent to Companies House – the owners’ holding company Paesa Entertainment reported revenues of €162 million and profits of €8.81 million, compared with losses of €56 million during the pandemic.
Despite the improvement, this was still considerably below 2019’s €241 million in revenues and profits of €41 million.
InvestIndustrial has been the park’s principal operator since 2009, after acquiring a 50 per cent stake from Port Aventura’s owner, Criteria. In 2012, Criteria sold their remaining holding while KKR joined InvestIndustrial with 49.9 per cent ownership in 2013.
In January, the joint owners refinanced a €700 million credit that was used to acquire Port Aventura. The original €620 million loan, which fell due in 2024, in turn replaced a €420 million bond issue launched in 2013.
With this new arrangement, the park now has three years free of repayment deadlines, which will make it easier to find a buyer.
PortAventura was created by Anheuser-Busch and Grand Tibidabo, although Grand Tibidabo exited the project during construction of the park. Other investors, including The Tussauds Group, stepped in, and the theme park opened in 1995 as Port Aventura. Tussauds Group held a majority share of the park until 1998 when they sold most of their shares to Universal. The park, which is located on land in Salou and Vilaseca in Tarragona’s Costa Dorada, was then renamed Universal’s Port Aventura.
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Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share?
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