Theme park operator Six Flags Inc. said Tuesday that Washington Redskin owner Daniel Snyder and two associates were elected to the board, moving his group one step closer to control of the company.
Mark Shapiro and Dwight Schar were elected with Snyder, replacing Six Flags Chief Executive Kieran Burke, Chief Financial Officer James Dannhauser and Stanley Shuman, Oklahoma City-based Six Flags said. The company, owner of the Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor amusement parks in Valencia, said elections inspector IVS Associates Inc. certified that stockholders voted 57% of shares to remove the three directors.
Snyder's Red Zone waged a three-month battle to persuade shareholders to shake up Six Flags' board. Snyder wants to triple his stake in the company and bring in an aggressive marketing and turnaround plan to boost park attendance and profit. He could request a special meeting of the new board be scheduled as early as Friday.
Snyder said Aug. 17 that he wanted to be elected chairman, a position Burke held. With Tuesday's announcement, Red Zone controls three of seven board seats.
Two directors can call a special meeting with three days' notice, according to the company's bylaws filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Snyder, Six Flags' largest investor, with a 12% holding, in August offered $6.50 a share, or $140.4 million, to increase his stake to 34%.
He has told Six Flags executives that they must overhaul the company's advertising and marketing strategies and aggressively pursue sponsorship deals to increase revenue. New roller coasters are "not likely the key to the company's future success," Snyder said in an Oct. 7 letter to Six Flags.
Shares of Six Flags rose 10 cents to $7.50.
Snyder said he would also seek to replace Burke as CEO with Shapiro, former executive vice president of programming and production at Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN sports cable networks. Shapiro is CEO of Red Zone.