PETA owns SeaWorld stock.
When Cher found out the news on Thursday, the international recording star was less than thrilled.
But PETA’s stake really isn’t a big deal.
After the recent tumble in shares of SeaWorld, PETA said in an emailed statement that it purchased more shares of SeaWorld, “in order to retain the minimum investment that it needs to propose shareholder resolutions and submit formal shareholders questions” to the company.
This minimum investment, per SEC rules, is just $US2,000.
In a phone call on Thursday, PETA spokeswoman Lindsay Rajt said the company bought 55 shares of PETA after its recent fall, bringing its holdings in the company to 135 shares.
Shares of SeaWorld closed at $US19.01 on Thursday, making the value of PETA’s stake in the company just over $US2,900.
Rajt said PETA plans to hold onto its stake to retain the ability to submit shareholder proposals and ask questions at the company’s annual meeting.
According to PETA website seaworldofhurt.com, Jessica Biel submitted a question at SeaWorld’s June annual meeting about whether or not the company has any plans to release some of its whale’s into the wild.
A webcast replay of SeaWorld’s annual meeting shows SeaWorld CEO Jim Atchison responding to PETA’s question about releasing its whales back into the wild. Atchison said setting their whales free into a coastal environment makes “no sense” given that the whales are born and bred in captivity.
But SeaWorld’s most recent quarterly results indicate that the company is clearly contending with an ever more hostile PR environment. Shortly after its quarterly report, SeaWorld announced it would build bigger tanks for its Orca whales.
PETA called this a “drop-in-the-bucket move.”
And so while PETA maintains a small economic interest in SeaWorld, it’s stake could also a drop-in-the-bucket.
So Cher can probably relax.
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