Correct it didn't, however it was still responsible to the stakeholders and Blackstone took $610 million in dividends out of the company before the IPO. Whilst it may not be on the stock market it will still be reporting to the stakeholders and it will still be expected to hit targets. I would compare it to Alton Towers and reporting to Merlin, being owned by a big company doesn't guarantee big capital expenditure especially when the park is struggling.
The truth is, the company was always far too small and erratic to go it alone on the stock market, so I am glad that we may be seeing some sort of acquisition.
The truth is? Sorry I wasn't aware you were a stock market expert.
There are plenty of smaller companies on the stock market in worse situations than SeaWorld, so I'm not sure you can make that judgement. SeaWorld would have been much more stable without Blackfish and whilst the stock probably wouldn't have been a star performer it wouldn't have dropped as much as it has. I still think they would have suffered earnings wise and I think that will continue in the future with Universal and now Disney upping their capex meaning that they'll get an even bigger market share.
The reality is Blackstone were looking at an exit strategy as they wanted a return on their initial $2.3 billion investment which was why they went for the IPO. Investment firms generally don't buy company to pump money into them, they're only interested in making a quick profit which usually results in cutting costs. A good example of this is 3G Capital who adopt a zero based budgeting approach in which the company has to justify every amount of money it spends, they've done this with Kraft Heinz as they were targeting savings of $1.5 billion a year. Once they've got their returns they'll sell the shares on for a premium which is exactly what's happened with SeaWorld.