Blackstone Group (BX) - Get Report is selling its 21% stake in SeaWorld Entertainment (SEAS) - Get Report to China-based Zhonghong Zhuoye Group for $23 per share, a premium of about 33% to the stock's close on Thursday.

"Zhonghong Group is making a significant, long-term investment in SeaWorld, reflecting their appreciation of the strength of our brand, our potential to grow the company and a shared commitment to protect wildlife and the environment," SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby said.

SeaWorld, once an iconic American tourist attraction featuring performing marine mammals, has been facing tough criticism over the last few years, as public opinion turns against keeping animals like killer whales and dolphins in captive environments.

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