Private equity wants Shamu? Blackstone may buy Anheuser-Busch InBev's parks

Shamu, the first female orca ever captured, has been dead for 38 years. Isn't it time the world's most famous performing killer whale got her own wax figure? With private-equity firm Blackstone Group, which owns Madame Tussauds wax museums, reportedly in talks to buy SeaWorld and Busch Gardens parks from brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD) for up to $3 billion, a Shamu immortalized in wax may no longer be out of the question. If this private-equity deal is completed, it would be the biggest in 2009 and one of the largest since the economic crisis began in 2008, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The takeover could be announced as early as next week, but talks are continuing, and the deal could sink, The New York Times and The Journal say, both citing people familiar with the situation. Calls to both companies seeking comment on Saturday were not immediately returned.