Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

Parques Reunidos buys Kennywood

Spanish group swallows second US operator

Kennywood Entertainment of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has agreed to sell the company to Parques Reunidos. The companies expect to close on the deal in March. The purchase price has not been disclosed.

Included in the deal will be the Kennywood park in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, the nearby Sandcastle waterpark, Idlewild & SoakZone in Ligonier, Pennsylvania, Lake Compounce in Bristol, Connecticut, and Story Land in Glen, New Hampshire..

Kennywood Entertainment has been a closely held family business since FW Henninger and Andrew McSwigan purchased Kennywood Park from the Monongahela Railway Company in 1906. The Henninger and McSwigan families, now in fourth and fifth generation, have remained owners for over 100 years.

Parques Reunidos, based in Madrid, Spain, is an international operator backed by the Candover private equity fund. The group manages 61 amusement, animal and waterparks in the US and Europe. Last month the company agreed to buy TusenFryd near Oslo, Norway. Parques Reunidos secured a US presence for the first this summer when it acquired Palace Entertainment.

“The Kennywood experience as visitors have come to love and expect will continue,” promises Harry Henniger, chairman of Kennywood Entertainment. “Nothing will seem different, even to the folks working at the parks. Existing management and staff will remain in place. In recent years, we’ve had talks with other operators wishing to acquire us, but Parques Reunidos is the first one to share our vision and philosophy. This has been a very difficult decision for members of the founding families, now numbering over 100 and residing all over the country.”

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