SeaWorld is under investigation by two federal agencies who subpoenaed statements made by the company and its executives on or before August 2014 regarding the impact of the “Blackfish Documentary,” according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings published Friday.
The theme-park company reports receiving subpoenas in June from the U.S. Department of Justice as part of an investigation into statements about the 2013 anti-captivity documentary “and trading in the Company’s securities.”
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The filing also indicates the company received similar subpoenas from the SEC, although it is unclear when those were received.
“The Company has cooperated with these government inquiries and intends to continue to cooperate with any government requests or inquiries,” the filing says.
The filing also indicates the company’s board of directors formed a special committee with legal counsel to determine how to handle these investigations on June 16, two days after the company’s shareholder meeting.
The full SEC disclosure reads as follows:
In June 2017, the Company received a subpoena in connection with an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice concerning disclosures and public statements made by the Company and certain executives and/or individuals on or before August 2014, including those regarding the impact of the 'Blackfish' documentary, and trading in the Company's securities. The Company also has received subpoenas from the staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with these matters. On June 16, 2017, the Company's Board of Directors formed a Special Committee comprised of independent directors with respect to these inquiries. The Special Committee has engaged counsel to advise and assist the Committee. The Company has cooperated with these government inquiries and intends to continue to cooperate with any government requests or inquiries.