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Home / Business / Lego family and Blackstone take Madame Tussaud's owner privately

Lego family and Blackstone take Madame Tussaud's owner privately



The agreement values ​​ Merlin Entertainments ( MERLY ) of $ 4.7 billion ($ 6 billion). In addition to the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, the company owns LegoLand theme parks and other attractions in 25 countries, including The London Eye.
On Friday, Merlin said it had agreed to be bought by a consortium of Kirkbi, the investment Lego's Founding Family, United States Private Equity Giant Blackstone ( BX ) and Canadian Pension Fund CPPIB.

The consortium will pay £ 4.55 ($ 5.75) per share for Merlin Entertainments, a 1

4% premium over the share's closing price on Thursday. Including debt, the agreement considers the company to be nearly NOK 6 billion (USD 7.6 billion). The shares traded at £ 4.50 ($ 5.70) on Friday.

The offer to the entertainment company comes one month after the US activist investor ValueAct Capital became public with a recommendation that it be private after "years of continued underperformance at the under-price".

"Private ownership is simply better placed than today's public shareholders to subscribe to the investments Merlin must make," ValueAct Capital, which had a 9% stake in the company, wrote in an open letter in May.

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In response, the company's board said it was fully confident in its strategy.

Nevertheless, Merlin Entertainments returns to their roots. It was owned by Kirkbi and Blackstone before listing on the London Stock Exchange in 2013. The Lego family retained an approximately 30% stake after the IPO.

However, Merlin's equity performance was volatile, as terrorist attacks in Britain died visiting numbers on some of the attractions in recent years.


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