Merlin Entertainments buyout completed

Discussion in 'European Parks and Attractions' started by Lurker, 23rd May 2019.

  1. Lurker

    Lurker TowersStreet Member

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    Team Edit: This discussion has been renamed to encompass the previous comments made by Valueact Capital and the recent news stories (28/06/2019) regarding the recent bid to take Merlin private

    Today there is a news article in the Guardian, with one investor stating that Merlin went public too fast, and should be made private again.

    https://www.theguardian.com/busines...by-us-investor-to-go-private-valueact-capital

    Seem like an interesting piece of news, especially given other recent news (the one with shareholders suggesting Merlin should focus more on the long term and guest satisfaction).

    Short-termism seems common to companies trying to get the returns demanded by their shareholders. Would Merlin and the parks be better off private, answering to investors instead of share holders? Hard to say!

    Also reported in the FT https://amp.ft.com/content/c7757e7a-7cd5-11e9-81d2-f785092ab560
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 28th Jun 2019
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    Posted 23rd May 2019
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  2. Smilertron

    Smilertron TowersStreet Member

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    Ok...which one of you is the 'Merlin investor'?
     
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    Posted 23rd May 2019
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  3. ringo

    ringo TowersStreet Member

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    HSBC also made a statement a few days ago.

    www.proactiveinvestors.co.uk/companies/amp/news/220592




     
    Posted 23rd May 2019
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  4. AT86

    AT86 TowersStreet Member

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    It is also reported in Reuters, with the addition of a semi interesting statement:

    I would think the resort theme parks division would be the first candidate for ‘divestment’ if it came to that.

    https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-m...auds-owner-merlin-to-go-private-idUKKCN1ST0DE
     
    Posted 23rd May 2019
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  5. venny

    venny TowersStreet Member

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    Petard hoisted.
     
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    Posted 23rd May 2019
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  6. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Posted 23rd May 2019
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  7. AT86

    AT86 TowersStreet Member

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    Yeah.
     
    Matt N likes this.
    Posted 23rd May 2019
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  8. Matt N

    Matt N TowersStreet Member

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    Ah right. Thanks for the clarification @AT86!
     
    Posted 24th May 2019
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  9. WillPS

    WillPS TowersStreet Member

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    Be careful what you wish for. Going private provides scope for the parks to be bled dry in a way a public company could never get away with. Check out Toys R Us for an example of how this can go.
     
    Posted 28th May 2019
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  10. venny

    venny TowersStreet Member

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    Think that horse has already bolted.
     
  11. WillPS

    WillPS TowersStreet Member

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    Never make the mistake of thinking the bottom of the barrel has been scraped.
     
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  12. Rick

    Rick TowersStreet Member

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    Lego family's Kirkbi and Blackstone to buy Merlin Entertainments: FT
    (Reuters) - Britain’s Merlin Entertainments Plc (MERL.L) is to be acquired for 6 billion pounds ($7.6 billion) by a group made up of Kirkbi, the investment vehicle of Lego’s founding family, private equity firm Blackstone Group LP (BX.N) and Canadian pension fund CPPIB, the Financial Times reported on Friday.

    The deal is expected to be announced for the operator of Madame Tussauds waxworks as soon as Friday morning, but no deal was guaranteed until the announcement, the FT said on.ft.com/2X9zLxD, citing multiple people it said were close to the matter.

    Merlin, Kirkbi, Blackstone and CPPIB did not immediately respond to requests for comments.

    ($1 = 0.7893 pounds)


    https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-m...to-buy-merlin-entertainments-ft-idUKKCN1TS3EI
     
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  13. Craig

    Craig TS Administrator Team Member

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    So potentially back to the days of 2007 when Tussauds Group was bought by Blackstone - full circle in 12 years potentially! I guess with Kirkbi's involvement (although they already have a pretty massive holding in Merlin) and a longer term pension fund being involved we'll potentially see less pressure from short term cuts.

    It's interesting to see Blackstone returning to theme parks though. They sold their remaining stake in Merlin in 2015, Universal in 2013 and Seaworld in 2017 although admittedly Blackfish backlash didn't help matters with that one. They made a fortune on pretty much every sale, so we'll likely see some sort of large expansion taking place. The question is, how will that be done? Improving theme parks, expanding midways or perhaps buying other operators such as Seaworld or Six Flags?

    When Blackstone first bought Merlin back in 2005, they soon snapped up Legoland, Garda and Tussauds so they do have form on using acquisitions to expand. Interesting times whatever happens though!
     
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  14. SuperMuscleMan

    SuperMuscleMan TowersStreet Member

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    I wonder if they will spin off the theme parks or embrace them. It's an interesting turn of events for sure, I just hope they don't retain any of the dead wood.
     
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  15. AT86

    AT86 TowersStreet Member

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    BBC are saying the offer has been accepted.

    Legoland and Madame Tussauds waxworks owner Merlin Entertainments has accepted a £4.8bn offer for the firm.
    A group of investors, led by the Danish billionaire family which controls the separate toy firm Lego, has made the approach alongside a group of other private investors.
    Kirkbi Invest says it has the money and experience to "realise the company's potential to grow".
    Merlin also owns the London Eye and Alton Towers.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48797245
     
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  16. Spark

    Spark TowersStreet Member

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    Do you think its Kirkbi's way of getting Lego Land back under their control? No way Merlin would just sell off the Lego parks so they have had to go whole hog and buy the group which will then be sold off?
     
  17. Doublethink

    Doublethink TowersStreet Member

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    Oh my god this is amazing news! Hopefully the first thing the new owners do is give Nick Varney the boot!

    Fingures crossed we now see real investment for the parks!
     
  18. bluesonichd

    bluesonichd TowersStreet Member

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    Was just about to say the same.
    Best way for Lego to get control of all Lego.
    Now they split off and sell off everything else
     
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  19. Doublethink

    Doublethink TowersStreet Member

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    Will be interested to see if they put the rest up for sale or not... I could certainly see them getting rid of either Chessington or Thorpe as they will already own other major parks in the region
     
  20. ringo

    ringo TowersStreet Member

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    BBC article updated,

    nothing will be split and sold off and they look forward to moving Merlin upwards.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48797245

     
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