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Burke Urged to Step Aside at Six Flags

Dan Snyder offers to buy a big chunk of stock for $6.50 apiece.
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The Burke era at

Six Flags


could be nearing an end.

Dan Snyder, the marketing magnate who rose to fame as owner of the Washington Redskins, said in a filing late Wednesday that he wants Kieran Burke ousted from the helm of Six Flags, the theme park operator whose uneven performance has decimated the stock over the last four years.

Snyder outlined a plan to install himself as chairman and


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executive Mark Shapiro as chief executive. In all, he wants three of the board's seven seats transferred to him and his allies.

Under the proposal, Snyder would raise his stake in Six Flags from 11.7% to 34.9% through a tender offer at $6.50 a share. That sent news the stock higher in premarket trading; it was recently up 46 cents, or 8.3%, to $5.95 on Instinet.

In its filings, Snyder's group said it has proposed to current management various proposals to increase park attendance and revenue, cut expenses, and capitalize on the company's real estate holdings.

"The current board and management have not only ignored what we believe are constructive suggestions, but have also failed, in our view, to implement any alternative strategy that has delivered acceptable results," Snyder's group said.

In the interim, the company lowered 2004 cash flow guidance and reaffirmed an estimate of adjusted earnings before interest, taxes depreciation and amortization for 2005 that Snyder's group doubts will cover fixed charges.

"The board's only noticeable response to our efforts to communicate a sound strategy to increase stockholder value, has been to authorize new indemnity and severance agreements with directors and executive officers and to amend the company's poison pill and bylaws in a manner which we believe limits stockholders' rights," the filing said.

In a response, Six Flags' said: "The board of directors of Six Flags will carefully consider and evaluate Red Zone's filings and will communicate with Six Flags' stockholders in due course."