MAIN BEACH, Australia — AOL Time Warner Inc., the largest Internet and media company, and Village Roadshow Ltd., Australia's biggest cinema owner, offered to buy the 32% of Australian theme park operator Sea World Property Trust they don't already own.
The two companies offered 72 cents a share for the rest of Sea World, a 16% premium to the price it last traded Friday, valuing the company at about $74 million. The $23.1-million, off-market offer is for one month, according to a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange.
Sea World stock surged as much as 19.4% on the announcement, with twice the number of shares changing hands as the daily average of the last six months. It rose as much as 12 cents to 73 cents, its highest in more than a year.
The Main Beach, Queensland state-based business owns and operates Sea World Property Australia Ltd., Sea World Nara Resort Hotel and Warner Bros. Movie World Theme Park, all on the Gold Coast, south of Brisbane, the state capital of Queensland.
The two companies want to buy the rest of Sea World to consolidate their Australian amusement park holdings, said Village, the operator of about 1,550 screens at about 200 outlets worldwide.
Last month, Village reported earnings from its theme parks and resorts were $2.9 million in the six months ended Dec. 31, up from $2.5 million a year ago before tax and one-time items.