03 Jun 2006

Compagnie des Alpes Gains Ground...


On the 3rd of May, the Compagnie des Alpes (CDA) signed a letter of intent with Palamon Capital Partners on the acquisition of five amusement parks owned by the StarParks Group. The takeover was completed on 30 May and affects the following facilities: Walibi Belgium (1.3 million visitors p.a.), Bellewaerde (0.8 million visitors p.a.), Walibi World (0.9 million visitors p.a.), Walibi Rhône-Alpes (0.4 million visitors p.a.), and Walibi Aquitaine (0.3 million visitors p.a.). Walibi Lorraine near Metz was sold to a private entrepreneur. The Movie Park Bottrop-Kirchhellen was not affected by the takeovers. Due to CDA/Grevin’s stock exchange quotation, nothing has been revealed about the sales price. The proprietary rights to the Walibi brand have also been turned over to CDA. The StarParks Group, which was acquired by Palamon in 2004, noted a total of 4.8 million visitors in 2005 with revenues of 112 million euros.

Bill Muirhead, Director of StarParks Europe, appeared satisfied with the company’s capital development and announced that “with Palamon’s support, StarParks Europe will continue to stay active on the European market and keep an eye out for new possibilities.” For the time being, one main focus is to be aimed at the development of the Movie Parks’ potential in Germany, where Palamon has made considerable investments. StarParks estimates the potential of at least two million visitors annually, with which its own goals were apparently defined.

Palamon has recognised the amusement park sector as a highly prosperous field. “Up to now, this investment has yielded returns 2.4 times over,” stated Fabio Giuseppetti, PCP associate, who went on to explain that the company intends to continue to remain a highly active market player. (eap)