Texas company has 10 percent stake in Cedar Fair

SANDUSKY A Texas company revealed it has acquired about a 10 percent stake in Cedar Fair, giving it
Tom Jackson
Mar 7, 2010

SANDUSKY

A Texas company revealed it has acquired about a 10 percent stake in Cedar Fair, giving it a large voice in the company’s fate.

News of the acquisition may have helped Cedar Fair’s unit price, which closed at $12.19, up 25 cents, at the close of trading Wednesday.

That was on a day when the stock market as a whole was down, said Randy Hunt, branch manager at the Sandusky office of Stifel Nicolaus.

That’s well above the $11.50 offered in an acquisition deal with Apollo Global Management, a New York private equity firm.

A proxy statement outlining the deal with Apollo will be mailed out to unitholders in February.

Unitholders will be asked to approve or reject the acquisition, which must be OK’d by votes representing two-thirds of the 55.2 million outstanding units.

An amended filing turned in Wednesday to the Securities and Exchange Commission shows that Q Funding owns 5,434,179 units of Cedar Fair, about 9.8 percent of the about 55.2 million outstanding limited partner units. The document explains Geoffrey Raynor controls the company and has “the sole power to vote or to direct the vote and to dispose or to direct the disposition of 5,434,179 units.”

Raynor is the founder and principal of Q Investments, an investment company based in Fort Worth, Texas. According to the company’s Web site, Q Investments is a private investment firm founded in 1994 that has 69 employees. A phone call to Q Investments on Wednesday wasn’t returned.

Wednesday’s filing suggests that aggressive buying by Raynor has helped drive up the unit price. The SEC form must be filed to report acquisition of 5 percent or more of equity securities.

The form doesn’t specify when Raynor bought his additional units.

Raynor’s holdings apparently are larger than other current holdings.

According to the proxy statement Cedar Fair filed earlier this month, as of Nov. 30, Cedar Fair CEO, president and chairman Dick Kinzel owned about 1.87 million units, or 3.4 percent of the total. Jacob Falfas, chief operating officer of Cedar Fair, came in second with 117,210 units.

Jeffrey Thomison, an analyst with Hilliard Lyons who follows Cedar Fair, noted Wednesday it’s impossible to tell whether Raynor began his move with a stake just below the 5 percent filing threshold.

Thomison said he continues to maintain a “neutral” rating on whether investors should buy Cedar Fair units.

“I’ll probably just watch it closely and see what happens,” Thomison said.