AB InBev sells US attractions to Blackstone

ANHEUSER-Busch InBev yesterday said it had agreed to sell its US theme parks to private equity group Blackstone for up to $2.7bn (&pound;1.6bn), as it offloads non-core businesses to help pay for its merger.<br /><br />The world&rsquo;s largest brewer, formed by InBev&rsquo;s $52bn takeover last year of US rival Anheuser-Busch, has said it plans to raise $7bn from divestments to help pay off $45bn of loans.<br /><br />The theme park deal would push it to within about $500m of that target.<br /><br />Blackstone will acquire AB InBev subsidiary Busch Entertainment, which is the second-largest theme park operator in the United States.<br /><br />It has 10 parks &ndash; including three SeaWorlds and two Busch Gardens &ndash; which attract some 25m visitors a year.<br /><br />Blackstone will pay $2.3bn in cash on closing, as well as a further $400m depending on future profits at the parks. AB InBev did not say when it expected the deal to close.