LinkedIn Hits 1B Members, Cedar Fair-Six Flags Merge, Disney Buys Hulu -

LinkedIn Hits 1B Members, Cedar Fair-Six Flags Merge, Disney Buys Hulu

November 2, 2023

LinkedIn, Owned by Microsoft, Boasts Over 1 Billion Users

Microsoft-owned LinkedIn, a popular business networking platform, has announced it has achieved an impressive milestone: more than 1 billion registered users. Interest from outside the United States is significant, with about 80% of new sign-ups coming from this demographic.

LinkedIn has introduced advanced generative AI tools aimed at improving user experience for its paying members. A noteworthy addition is the revamped “job seeker” tool, tailored to assess job-applicant compatibility. Initially, these tools will be offered to Premium subscribers who have increased their numbers by a notable 55% Y/Y during Q1.

Though growth has been strong, analyst Poonam Arora predicts a slowing pace for LinkedIn’s expansion due to reaching market saturation rates. Last month, amid declining revenue growth rates, around 668 job cuts were reported.

Merging Giants in the Amusement Park Industry

Two major players in the amusement park industry, Six Flags and Cedar Fair, have formalized a merger agreement, instigating stocks to climb not only during yesterday’s trading session but also during premarket trading.

The newly merged entity will have an estimated pro forma enterprise value of about $8 billion, featuring numerous amusement and water parks across North America. Prior attempted takeovers by both Six Flags (offered $70 per share in 2019) and SeaWorld ($60 per share bid for Cedar Fair last year) fell short of inspiring this union.

Private equity firm Centerbridge gained over a 5% stake last year in Cedar Fair, suggesting other amusement park chains may show interest if Cedar Fair chooses to sell.

Closer towards Total Ownership of Hulu, Disney Approaches

In the realm of entertainment, Disney is nearing the acquisition of NBCUniversal’s one-third stake in streaming service Hulu, with a slated price of $8.6 billion by December 1.

Consequently, Disney would own the entire company. An imminent sale awaits as Comcast has decided on tapping into a November 1st trigger date to kickstart the sale. The final price may exceed the initial $8.61 billion proposal, as Comcast maintains a higher valuation for Hulu.

Currently, both companies are collaborating with banks to ascertain a fair valuation. Analyst Juxtaposed Ideas predicting Hulu are estimated at $45 billion, backed up by Hulu’s impressive growth trajectory.

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