Merlin Entertainments takeover bid by Lego Family
Merlin Entertainments has today agreed a £4.8bn takeover bid to go ahead. Merlin, the current owner of places such as Alton Towers, Thorpe Park and Legoland has been presented with an offer from a joint consortium. The group that makes up the consortium may be fimilliar to some, but includes Kirkbi, Blackstone and a Canadian pension fund. Kirkbi a company owned by the family of LEGO's founder Ole Kirk Christiansen already owns almost a third of the shares in Merlin Entertainments, if this bid is successful that percentage will increase to 50%.
The new consortium, known as Berkeley Bidco have already stated that they have no plans to sell any part of the current group, this includes resort theme parks and other attractions such as Madame Tussauds to name a few.
Kirkbi chief executive Søren Thorup Sørensen said: "As the long-term owner of the LEGO® brand and as a strategic shareholder in Merlin since 2005, we have great pride and passion for this amazing company, its management team and its employees. With a shared understanding of the business and its culture, we believe that this group of investors has the unique collective resources necessary to equip Merlin, including the LEGOLAND® Parks and LEGOLAND® Discovery Centres, for their next phase of growth. We are committed to ensuring LEGOLAND® and the other activities in Merlin reach their full potential, which we believe is best pursued under private ownership, in order to deliver fantastic experiences to visitors of all ages around the world."