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New Chapter in Kennywood Entertainment History Announced

PR Newswire (press release)

Original Article »

December 11, 2007

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Kennywood Entertainment of Pittsburgh announced today that it has entered into an agreement to sell its amusement park holdings, including Kennywood in West Mifflin, PA, Idlewild & SoakZone in Ligonier, PA, Sandcastle Waterpark in West Homestead, PA and New England parks Lake Compounce Theme Park in Bristol, CT and Story Land in Glen, New Hampshire.

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

Acquiring Kennywood Entertainment is Parques Reunidos, based in Madrid, Spain, an international operator that manages 61 amusement, animal and water parks in the U.S. and Europe, with total annual visitors exceeding 22 million and revenues exceeding $570 million.

Parques Reunidos, with the financial backing of the Candover investment fund, a private equity investor in London, approached Kennywood with a purchase offer as part of their plan to consolidate family entertainment venues around the globe.

"The Kennywood experience -- as visitors have come to love and expect -- will continue. Nothing will seem different, even to the folks working at the parks. Existing management and staff will remain in place," said Harry Henninger, Chairman of Kennywood Entertainment. "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."

"We have tremendous respect for the work of the Kennywood management team and are delighted to acquire such a quality organization," said Richard Golding, Chief Executive Officer of Parques Reunidos. "They've built Kennywood Entertainment into an industry leader in family entertainment. We are anxious to continue the gold standard of entertainment they have established."

"Richard Golding recognizes and appreciates the deep affection that all of the Kennywood properties enjoy with their communities," said Peter J. McAneny, Kennywood Entertainment President. "They intend to preserve these connections and build upon the history and tradition existing at each of the parks."

Henninger added, "This has been a very difficult decision for members of the founding families, now numbering over one hundred and residing all over the country. All of us are tremendously proud of what we created with Kennywood Entertainment. It has truly been a magical ride, managing Kennywood, starting Sandcastle, expanding and improving both Idlewild and Lake Compounce."

A March completion date is anticipated. The agreement is subject to satisfactory completion of due diligence inquiries by the parties. The purchase price is not being disclosed.

About Kennywood Entertainment

Kennywood Entertainment, western Pennsylvania's largest provider of summer fun, owns and operates the National Historic Landmark, Kennywood, highly regarded as America's finest traditional amusement park; Idlewild & SoakZone, named by Amusement Today as the second best children's park in the world, and Sandcastle Waterpark and Riverplex (an old-fashioned picnic park) both located on former steel mill property along the Monongahela River; America's oldest theme park, Lake Compounce, in Bristol, CT and a young child's very own theme park, Story Land in Glen, NH.

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