PORT AVENTURA: Spain’s first theme park is for sale. Photo credit: CC/The Crypt
The owners of PORT AVENTURA, InvestIndustrial and KKR, plan to sell the Tarragona theme park for a sale price of around 1 billion euros.
Information published for the first time in the Spanish financial newspaper Cinco Días maintains that the good results this summer and in 2022 will have motivated the decision to sell the theme park by the owners of the investment funds.
Port Aventura, Spain’s first theme park, had 5.1 million visitors in 2022, not far from the record of 5.2 million attendees in 2019. Internal sources are confident that when the 2023 season ends the facility will have surpassed pre-pandemic figure.
According to the 2021 accounts presented to the Commercial Registry, equivalent to Companies House, the owners’ holding company, Paesa Entertainment, recorded revenues of 162 million euros and profits of 8.81 million euros, compared to losses of 56 million euros during the pandemic.
Despite the improvement, this was still considerably below 2019’s revenue of €241 million and profit of €41 million.
InvestIndustrial has been the main operator of the park since 2009, after acquiring a 50 percent stake from Port Aventura owner Criteria. In 2012, Criteria sold its remaining stake, while KKR joined InvestIndustrial with a 49.9 percent ownership in 2013.
In January, the co-owners refinanced a 700 million euro loan that was used to acquire Port Aventura. The original €620 million loan, which matured in 2024, in turn replaced a €420 million bond issue launched in 2013.
With this new provision, the park has three years free of amortization periods, which will facilitate the search for a buyer.
PortAventura was created by Anheuser-Busch and Grand Tibidabo, although Grand Tibidabo abandoned the project during the park’s construction. Other investors, including The Tussauds Group, stepped in and the theme park opened in 1995 as Port Aventura. Tussauds Group maintained a majority stake in the park until 1998, when it sold most of its shares to Universal. The park, which is located on land in Salou and Vilaseca on the Costa Dorada of Tarragona, was then renamed Universal’s Port Aventura.