CVC aims to acquire stake in Merlin
Private equity firm looks to buy 30 per cent stake in theme park operator
Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners is negotiating the
acquisition of a 30 per cent stake in Merlin Entertainments.
CVC would purchase the minority share from the theme park
operator's existing shareholders, including U.S. private equity
group Blackstone and Danish company Kirkbi A/S, who own three
quarters of the Lego Group.
The proposed deal would result in CVC, Blackstone and KIRKBI A/S
all holding a 30 per cent share, with Merlin's managers owning the
remainder, reports The Financial Times.
It would also end Merlin's hopes of floating the firm on the
London Stock Exchange for at least another two years, following its
failed attempt to do so four months ago.
CVC's investment would value Merlin at around £2.5 billion
including debt, while it could also refinance the business to
provide more funding for expansion.
Merlin, the firm behind the London Eye, Madame Tussauds and
Legoland, has become the second-biggest theme park operator in the
world behind Disney.
Over the past nine years, it has registered a continued growth
in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to
the figure of £238.6 million last year.