The investment group KIRKBI – which owns the LEGO Group, and other private investment partners, has announced it is buying Merlin Entertainments – owners of the LEGOLAND Amusement parks and Discovery Centres. Merlin Entertainments bought the parks in 2005 during some hard financial times for LEGO.
The acquisition values Merlin at £4.77 billion and will allow the LEGO Group to bring control of the parks and experiences back into their brand vision. There have been no announcements about what this change means, but fans are already hoping that the VIP rewards program will now extend to the parks in some way. It’s also hoped that any park exclusives would then be available through LEGO Brand Retail somehow as well, but those are fan dreams, not firm plans yet.
KIRKBI, BLACKSTONE AND CPPIB AGREE TERMS OF A RECOMMENDED OFFER FOR MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS PLC
- • Recommended offer price of 455 pence per share values Merlin at £4.77 billion, representing a 37 per cent premium to the closing price of 22 May 2019.
- • The Consortium comprising KIRKBI Invest A/S, Blackstone and CPPIB has received irrevocable commitments from ValueAct Capital and the directors of Merlin.
- • The Consortium recognises that Merlin requires significant, long-term investment for the next phase of growth. The Consortium is a unique group of investors equipped with the appropriate long-term investment horizon, expertise and willingness to increase capital investment to deliver this.
The press release is rather – detailed and technical, but you can read the whole thing on the KIRKBI A/S site.