- France Becomes Company’s Fourth New Independent Director Since 2008
- CEO Dick Kinzel Discusses Optimistic Outlook in "State of the Company" Remarks
- Matt Ouimet Has Immersed Himself in Operations and Planning Since Joining Company as President on June 20, 2011
Cedar Fair (NYSE: FUN), a leader in regional amusement parks, water parks and active entertainment, today announced that unitholders elected Gina France to a three-year term as a Class III Director of its general partner, Cedar Fair Management, Inc., effective immediately. France, 52, is the fourth new independent director added to the Cedar Fair Board since 2008 and brings more than 30 years of strategic planning, investment banking and corporate finance experience to the position. Gina received favorable votes from 65% of the units present and entitled to vote at the meeting and will replace Richard Ferreira who is retiring from the Board.
The Company also announced that 92% of unitholders voted in favor of the proposal to reappoint Deloitte and Touch LLP as the Company’s independent auditors, and 57% of unitholders voted in favor of the Company’s executive compensation proposal. Additionally, unitholders approved the Board’s proposal to conduct advisory votes on executive compensation annually.
"We truly appreciate the continued support of our unitholders, " said Dick Kinzel, chief executive officer of Cedar Fair. "We look forward to adding Gina to our strong and independent Board. Her extensive experience in helping management teams successfully execute a broad spectrum of strategic initiatives and financial transactions will be a tremendous asset to Cedar Fair as we look to effectively maximize value for our investors over the long term."
As previously announced, David Paradeau, 68, and Darrel Anderson, 66, at the request of the Nominating Committee, agreed not to stand for re-election to the Company’s Board at the Annual Meeting in order to reduce the Board to seven directors. This reduction is in accordance with a previously announced agreement between Cedar Fair and Q Funding III L.P. and Q4 Funding L.P. (together with Geoffrey Raynor, "Q Investments"), which together beneficially own 10, 021, 418 units, or approximately 18.1% of the outstanding units of Cedar Fair. The Company had expanded the Board to nine directors in June 2010 to accommodate the addition of two directors suggested at that time by Q Investments.
Following the formal portion of the Annual Meeting of Unitholders, Kinzel provided a brief "State of the Company" address, which included the following highlights:
- Sales trends through this past weekend are positive. Year-to-date revenues have increased 2% from the same period a year ago, to approximately $372 million. Kinzel also commented that he believes the Company’s growth goals in the range of $975 million to $1.0 billion in revenues, and full-year adjusted EBITDA of $350 million to $370 million are attainable.
- The Company has paid out almost $1.5 billion in distributions to unitholders, or $29.20 per unit since it went public in 1987, and has now paid a distribution in each of the last 25 years. Kinzel stated, "This demonstrates that distributions are – and always have been – among the highest priorities of the Company and the Board, along with making strategic investments to grow the business, and continuing to reduce our debt."
- Matt Ouimet, the Company’s recently named president, has "hit the ground running" since joining Cedar Fair on June 20, 2011. "Matt has tremendous passion for the industry and enthusiasm for our properties, " said Kinzel. As previously announced, Ouimet will succeed Kinzel as chief executive officer when Kinzel retires on January 3, 2012. "Matt is intelligent and thoughtful, and he has a keen understanding of what it takes to keep guests coming back to our parks, " Kinzel continued. "He is already immersed in operations and planning at our properties and I have no doubt he will do a terrific job in leading this Company."
About Cedar Fair
Cedar Fair is a publicly traded partnership headquartered in Sandusky, Ohio, and one of the largest regional amusement-resort operators in the world. The Company owns and operates 11 amusement parks, six outdoor water parks, one indoor water park and five hotels. Amusement parks in the Company’s northern region include two in Ohio: Cedar Point, consistently voted "Best Amusement Park in the World" in Amusement Today polls, and Kings Island; as well as Canada’s Wonderland, near Toronto; Dorney Park, PA; Valleyfair, MN; and Michigan’s Adventure, MI. In the southern region are Kings Dominion, VA; Carowinds, NC; and Worlds of Fun, MO. Western parks in California include: Knott’s Berry Farm; California’s Great America; and Gilroy Gardens, which is managed under contract.