NEW YORK (AP) -- Private equity firm Blackstone Group is close to sealing a deal to buy Anheuser-Busch InBev's theme parks unit, including such notable parks as SeaWorld and Busch Gardens, according to a media report Friday.
Citing unnamed sources, the Wall Street Journal reported that the New York-based firm could buy the theme parks operated under the Busch Entertainment unit next week in a transaction worth between $2.5 billion and $3 billion.
Spokesmen for Anheuser-Busch InBev and Blackstone declined to comment.
Anheuser-Busch InBev has been shedding assets to help pay for the $52 billion deal last year in which Belgium-based InBev bought St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch to create the world's largest brewer, known for beers from Bud Light to Beck's.
At the time, InBev said it would shed $7 billion in noncore assets to help pay for the purchase.
The Journal first reported on a possible purchase of the parks by Blackstone last week.
Blackstone's other investments include Universal Studios Orlando and Madame Tussauds wax museums, so Anheuser-Busch InBev's parks would fit into its portfolio.
Anheuser-Busch InBev owns 10 amusement parks in total, including three SeaWorlds, two Busch Gardens and such other parks as Sesame Place and Adventure Island, according to its Web site.
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