The LEGO family and private equity firm Blackstone are taking the Merlin Group, the company who own LEGOLAND Windsor, Alton Towers, Madame Tussauds and the London Eye, back to being a private company in a deal worth $7.5 billion.
The world’s second-largest operator of visitor attractions after Disney (DIS.N) said on Friday the deal would give it greater scope for “significant, long-term investment” as the Danish interlocking plastic-brick maker expands in China.
The buyers said that taking it off the stock market, one of the biggest European private equity deals in recent years, would allow the company to invest more in its assets and deliver on growth plans.
“We believe that this group of investors has the unique collective resources necessary to equip Merlin… for their next phase of growth,” said Soren Thorup Sorensen, chief executive of Kirkbi, the private investment company of Lego’s Kirk Kristiansen family which already holds a 30% Merlin stake.
We will keep an eye on what this means for the company, as LEGO seem keen to expand their instantly recognisable IP even further.