Hoping to make a splash, SeaWorld Entertainment filed a preliminary IPO prospectus with the SEC, paving the way for the theme park operator to go public at some point in 2013. It's a smart time to go public for the subsidiary, which is currently owned by private-equity fund giant Blackstone Group (BX
). Fellow amusement park operator Six Flags (SIX
) hit a fresh 52-week high earlier this month, and Cedar Fair (FUN
) hit a multiyear high just last month.
Beyond its namesake marine parks, SeaWorld owns and operates Busch Gardens, Aquatica, Sesame Place, and Discovery Cove. SeaWorld is currently profitable, and the park operator rang up $1.16 billion in revenue through the first nine months of this year. If and when SeaWorld completes its IPO, it will trade under the ticker symbol "SEAS."