The CEO of SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc., Jim Atchison, sold 50,000 shares of his stock in the company on Monday. According to a legal filing disclosed by the Securities & Exchange Commission, the shares were each sold at an average price of $31.55 -- a total transaction of $1,577,500.00. Atchison still owns 636,852 shares in the company -- a total value of approximately $20,092,681.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, this is the latest of Atchison's big stock unloads -- he sold off more than $3 million worth of company shares within the last month. Atchison earned a salary of $395,000 with the company in 2012, plus a bonus of $389,984.
The amusement park has been getting lots of international attention lately, in the wake of the CNN documentary "Blackfish," which alleged animal abuse for the captive animals in the park. Since the film's debut, SeaWorld has been under serious public and financial pressure, as The Dodo reported last month:
The Blackstone Group, the massive New York-based investment firm that bought SeaWorld in 2009, first took the company public in April and in December sold off enough shares to lose a majority stake in the company. Other major shareholders are jumping ship, too: In December, Delaware L.P., sold off 18,000,000 of its shares. The company also started offering tickets through Groupon at a 40 percent discount. And, as a MarketWatch column observed in November, "The more people see the film "Blackfish," the deeper stock of SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. dives." (Its stock has dropped from a just post-IPO launch high of $38 to $28 over the past six months.)
Atchison is the target of several petitions calling for the park to end its captive breeding programs and to stop using animals in performances.