SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:SEAS) Files An 8-K Departure of Directors or Certain Officers; Election of Directors; Appointment of Certain Officers; Compensatory Arrangements of Certain Officers

SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:SEAS) Files An 8-K Departure of Directors or Certain Officers; Election of Directors; Appointment of Certain Officers; Compensatory Arrangements of Certain Officers
Item 5.02 Departure of Directors or Certain Officers; Election of Directors; Appointment of Certain Officers; Compensatory Arrangements of Certain Officers.

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(b) As previously disclosed in a Current Report on Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on June 16, 2017, David F. D’Alessandro did not receive a majority of the votes cast at the 2017 Annual Meeting of Stockholders (the “Annual Meeting”) of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (the “Company”) and, to the terms of the Company’s Bylaws (the “Bylaws”), offered to tender his immediate resignation to the Board following the Annual Meeting.  The Bylaws provide that the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee (the “Committee”) of the Company’s Board of Directors (the “Board”) must make a recommendation to the Board on whether to accept or reject such resignation, or whether other action should be taken, following which the Board must take action after considering the Committee’s recommendation.

In their deliberations with respect to Mr. D’Alessandro’s offer to resign, the Committee and the Board considered a number of factors, including the background, experience (including his seven year tenure on the Board) and the perspective that Mr. D’Alessandro brings to the Board and to the Company more generally.  In that context, the Committee and the Board took into account the potential impact of Mr. D’Alessandro’s immediate departure on the Board’s and the Company’s ability to successfully address certain challenges that the Company now faces, including, without limitation, the matters set forth under Item 8.01 below.

After consideration of all of these factors, on June 22, 2017, the Committee determined that it was in the best interest of the Company for Mr. D’Alessandro to continue to serve on the Board as its non-executive chairman through December 31, 2017 at which time he will step down from the Board.  As a result, the Committee unanimously recommended that the Board reject Mr. D’Alessandro’s offered immediate resignation. The disinterested members of the Board thereafter unanimously resolved to reject Mr. D’Alessandro’s immediate resignation and agreed with him that he will step down on December 31, 2017.

Mr. D’Alessandro did not participate in the deliberations of the Committee or of the Board, although Mr. D’Alessandro’s views were solicited and taken into account by the Committee and the Board.  

Item 8.01 Other Events.

In June 2017, the Company received a subpoena in connection with an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice concerning disclosures and public statements made by the Company and certain executives and/or individuals on or before August 2014, including those regarding the impact of the “Blackfish” documentary, and trading in the Company’s securities. The Company also has received subpoenas from the staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with these matters. On June 16, 2017, the Company’s Board of Directors formed a Special Committee comprised of independent directors with respect to these inquiries. The Special Committee has engaged counsel to advise and assist the Committee. The Company has cooperated with these government inquiries and intends to continue to cooperate with any government requests or inquiries.

Forward-Looking Statements

This Current Report on Form 8-K contains statements that are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act which are subject to the “safe harbor” created by those sections.  These statements include, but are not limited to, statements related to the Company’s plans, objectives, goals, expectations, beliefs, business strategies, future events, business conditions, business trends.  These forward-looking statements, which are identified by words such as “might,” “will,” “may,” “should,” “estimates,” “expects,” “continues,” “contemplates,” “anticipates,” “projects,” “plans,” “potential,” “predicts,” “intends,” “believes,” “forecasts,” “future,” “guidance,” “targeted,” “scheduled” are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in this Current Report on Form 8-K, including the risks, uncertainties and factors set forth in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and in subsequent reports, including Current Reports on Form 8-K, that the Company files or furnishes with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). The Company’s filings with the SEC are available from the SEC’s EDGAR database at and via the Company’s website at  Accordingly, there are or will be important factors that could cause actual outcomes or results to differ materially from those indicated in these statements. These factors should not be construed as exhaustive and should be read in conjunction with the other cautionary statements that are included in this Current Report on Form 8-K and in the Company’s filings with the SEC. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or review any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as required by law.

About SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:SEAS)

SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. is a theme park and entertainment company. It owns or licenses a portfolio of brands, including SeaWorld, Sea Rescue and Busch Gardens. It has a diversified portfolio of approximately 10 destination and regional theme parks that are located across the United States. Its theme parks feature a range of rides, shows and other attractions. The Company operates SeaWorld theme parks in Orlando, Florida; San Antonio, Texas, and San Diego, California, and Busch Gardens theme parks in Tampa, Florida, and Williamsburg, Virginia. The Company operates water park attractions in Orlando, Florida (Aquatica); San Diego, California (Aquatica); Tampa, Florida (Adventure Island), and Williamsburg, Virginia (Water Country USA). The Company also operates a reservations-only attraction offering interaction with marine animals (Discovery Cove) and a seasonal park in Langhorne, Pennsylvania (Sesame Place).

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