Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Kennywood Announces Privatization of Turnpike

(Reuters) West Mifflin, PA - General Manager Jerome Gibas announced today that Kennywood Park's 43-year old Turnpike ride will be sold to Barcelona based infrastructure firm Abertis for $12.8 billion dollars.

"We are excited about this synergistic partnership, and we look forward to creating a new memory with Abertis."

Kennywood's parent corporation Parques Reunidos would receive a lump sum cash payment, while Abertis would collect fees at the ride entrance. At $12.8 billion, this deal is the biggest privatization of an amusement park ride.

With the downfall of the credit markets, amusement park rides have been looked on favorably by Wall Street investment firms for their reliable sources of revenue. From the entertainment standpoint, privatization lessens the political fallout from increased ticket prices and eases the restrictions on pregnant women and those with heart conditions.

Earlier this year, Morgan Stanley had placed the value of the Turnpike Ride at only $30 million, indicating that there may be more to the deal than has been initially announced.

All riders will still be required to keep their hands and legs in the cars at all times.

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