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Merlin Entertainments to be Acquired by Lego family, Blackstone, & Canadian Pension Fund

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2019 is proving to be a big year for acquisitions in the theme park industry.




Lego family's Kirkbi and Blackstone to buy Madame Tussauds owner Merlin: FT


JUNE 27, 2019 / 6:37 PM / UPDATED 3 HOURS AGO


(Reuters) - Britain’s Merlin Entertainments Plc (MERL.L) is to be acquired for 6 billion pounds ($7.6 billion), including debt, by a group made up of Kirkbi, the investment vehicle of Lego’s founding family, private equity firm Blackstone Group LP (BX.N) and Canadian pension fund CPPIB, the Financial Times reported on Friday.


The deal to buy Merlin, which owns and operates Madame Tussauds waxworks exhibits around the world, is expected to be announced as soon as Friday morning, but no deal was guaranteed until the announcement, the FT said on.ft.com/2X9zLxD, citing multiple people it said were close to the matter.


The deal is likely to value Merlin’s shares at around 460 pence, one of the people told the FT, giving it an equity value of more than 4.73 billion pounds.


The move comes after activist investor ValueAct Capital last month urged Merlin, which also operates Legoland and the Alton Towers theme park in Britain, to take itself private.


In an open letter, ValueAct said at the time that the level of investment needed in the company meant it would be better off returning to private ownership.


Merlin, Kirkbi, Blackstone and CPPIB did not immediately respond to requests for comments.


Reporting by Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru; Editing by Bill Rigby



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19 hours ago, 29yrswithaGApass said:


They don't?  Not even the main shop by the front gate?


I know the LEGO store in Disney Springs accepts it.


Nope! It's only accepted in official, LEGO-owned stores. (The one in Disney Springs is one of their flagships)

All the stores in Merlin attractions don't accept it, including all Legoland amusement parks and all 19 Legoland Discovery Center attractions.

Edited by Matt Kaiser
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