Sealife park; SeaWorld purchase attempt
A-8 Monday, May 14, 1973 HONOLULU ADVERTISER proxy fight threatened at Sea Life meeting today Stockholders of Sea Life, Inc. will meet at 9 a.m. today to vote on sale of Sea Life Park to a Mainland-Hawaii combine. Yesterday, however, two officers of Sea World, Inc. a San Diego company which lost its bid for the Makapuu marine park said they would work through proxies today to scuttle the sale announced Friday. The sale was to Bishop Corp. of Honolulu and Lion Country Safari, Inc., of Los Angeles. In a hastily called press conference yesterday, Sea World President George D. Millay and Director Jefferson Asher said their offer was "far superior" to that accepted by the directors of Sea Life, Inc., on Friday. Millay and Asher said they had believed their company's offer would be accepted up until "just a few days" before Sea Life directors voted to sell the park complex to Bishop and Lion Country. THEY SAID Sea Life Park management had "pushed for this other offer (by Bishop and Lion Country)" and had succeeded in scuttling the "superior" offer by Sea World. Sea Life President Ian Bund said yesterday that Sea World's offer was not "far superior" and that the promised proxy fight today could not possibly overturn the sale. "At a stockholders meeting on May 9 about 74 per cent of the stock of Sea Life, Inc., was represented in person or by proxy . . . and approval was given then for the sale (to Bishop-Lion Country)," he said. "I have a binding agreement in front of me now and this agreement is funded. Tomorrow's meeting is just a normal courtesy to stockholders ; to air it (the sale) for their information . . ." APPARENTLY eight per-' sons present at the May 9 stockholders meeting represented the 74 per cent of Sea Life stock referred to by Bund. Sources indicate the vote was 7-1 in favor of sale to Bishop Corp. and Lion Country Safari. At the press conference called by Sea World yesterday, Millay issued a typed statement in which he said he did not wish to imply . anything other than a belief that stockholders of Sea Life have not been made fully aware of Sea World's offer. But under ' questioning, Millay and Asher indicated they had "questions" about the role of Sea Life management. Millay said the only explanation given him for the rejection of Sea World's offer "mostly revolved around (one director's) feeling that we would be (financially) unable to perform DON KREIPKE lecturer, Psychorientologist ond Mind Control Instructor SPECIAL LECTURE ON . MIND CONTROL AND STUDENTS REPORT CONTROL OVER OVER 125,000 GRADUATES adequately and in time." . Millay said an "unfounded" rumor has been circulating in Hawaii that Sea World does not have the money to meet all its commitments. ACCORDING TO Millay, Sea World's 22-acre San Diego marine park is the country's "only marine-oriented .park not in financial trouble." The company also opened a 65-acre complex ear Cleveland three years ago and is building an $18 million, 125-acre park near Disney World in Florida. "Sea World is a public company with more than 4,000 shareholders throughout the United States, in-eluding several institutions," said Millay. "It currently is on the recommended 'buy list' for at least a dozen large brokerage houses." Millay said Sea World would spend from $2 million to $4 million for new facilities and programs at Sea Life Park, over and above the purchase price. He said the company , had no plans for amusement rides, hotels . or anything but marine-park facilities. THE TWO MEN based their claim of a "superior" purchase offer mainly on the terms proposed for pre-sent, stockholders in Sea Life Park.. Asher said the ; Bishop-Lion Country offer "from the viewpoint of the stockholders is so odious that we don't understand why the board of directors accepted this offer." . Millay said Sea World has offered $1.5 million in cash $2.29 per share to buy out all shareholders by May 1, 1974. Lion Country, he said, "agrees to purchase up to approximately 70 per cent - of these shares " at prices beginning at $2 per share and going up to $2.75 per share over a four-year period." Furthermore, said Millay, Sea Life shareholders "suffer substantial dilution in the Lion Country deal, which entails Lion Country's purchase of warrants to buy two-thirds of the total stock of Sea Life for approximately ... 46 cents a share. "In addition to the dilution, the Sea Life shareholders will have a preferred stock imposed upon the company, ahead of them in dividends and liquidation with the Lion Country deal. "Sea World guarantees the full repayment of the $600,000 subordinate debentures which come due May 1, 1975, whereas no such guarantee has been made by Lion Country." As for the Oceanic Foundation's present financial straits, Millay said both offers would involve immediate loans of about $900,000 - to "refinance" the foundation. Cafe Seven Seas 28 S. Hotel St. Phone 533-1626 Mhnkmiy Tuesday, May 15 ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL Suckling Pig Hawaiian Dinner Many thanks for your past patronage. June T. Higa and Frances K. Iramina ttm TAX 1 y . S&.Vts -i I III I I - I I I V " - , NtMMI. I II' fri ! 0 " -r-' . "lT"