Merlin Entertainments buyout completed

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

  1. TheBolt

    TheBolt TowersStreet Member

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    I think Kirkbi is as good move here. Merlin were in danger of damaging their core Lego brand, when they should have been generating excitement for the whole concept.

    I could see a quick sell off of a few oddities like Bear Grylls and the treetop zipwire places (Illawarra Fly etc.) to tighten the focus; maybe Shrek's Adventure converting to Legoland Discovery or Little Big?
    Sea Life seems a strong enough brand in its own right.

    I'm hoping the theme parks will see a renewed focus on providing quality family experiences, and an end to Merlins obsession with dark themes. A little more lego, e.g. characters hanging around, the odd lego themed ride, would be OK at parks like Alton Towers... trickier at Chessington or Thorpe, when you have Legoland on the doorstep!

    What I'm not looking forward to is the conversion of Madam Tussauds to lego figures and the dungeons to Lego Monsters characters. ;-)
     
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  2. Jb85

    Jb85 TowersStreet Member

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    Perhaps the reason for this is Kirkbi not feeling confident in their existing investment i. merlin? Buy the brand they can control the direction it goes in.

    I do feel there will be a split between midway and rtp though as a result of this
     
  3. Ancient

    Ancient TowersStreet Member

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    Now it makes sense... Nicky boy and the team searching for future employment prospects with a proper park? ;)
     
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  4. Tom

    Tom TowersStreet Member

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    Didn't realise he was that short.
     
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  5. Austin Towers

    Austin Towers TowersStreet Member

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  6. rob666

    rob666 TowersStreet Member

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    Needs a subscription
     
  7. AT86

    AT86 TowersStreet Member

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    From the small amount you can read it seems like the usual Merlin approach of blaming everyone else for your mistakes.

    Would be interested to read the full thing though if any with a subscription would be happy to copy and paste :)
     
  8. MaxPower

    MaxPower TowersStreet Member

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    I think he's basically trying to say that terrorism, the alignment of the stars with the earth and fake news were to blame for the company being 'undervalued'.

    Apparently it had nothing to do with the inept way they've run the business over the past 10 years...
     
  9. James

    James TS Founding Member

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  10. Doublethink

    Doublethink TowersStreet Member

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    Sounding like the narsasists prayer there, blaming others for mErLiNs failings....

     
  11. Matt.GC

    Matt.GC TowersStreet Member

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    Sunderland and many of the shareholders are probably right to complain about the short term volitility of the markets undervaluing the company, but that's exactly the very reason why Merlin should go private at this time and why it wasn't ready to be floated in the first place.

    Merlin itself, time and time again, has bowed down to short term market pressures like so many companies before it. You can say what you want about Varney and the board, but you'd have to be extremely brave to not react to market volitility with such a young company, especially post Smiler (I refuse to accept the terrorism excuses, I think their impact is over exaggerated).

    I think the company being taken private is the right decision. I agree with Valueact, the company was not mature enough to be floated and is exposed to market forces pounding in from so many directions. The industry in which Merlin operates in is capital expenditure heavy to reap long term rewards. It has to invest heavily just to stay still, let alone grow. Merlin is a company far too young to prove to the city that it has a long track record making decent long term investments. Look at Wickerman as an example of that, it saw its budget cut, it's planned opening year was put back and the company had to discount entry to Towers very heavily to fill the place up just so they could turn around to the market and say "see, see, we invested and people are coming!". It's also why we have so much accommodation being built, the board are desperate to appease the markets.

    As for who the buyers are, I think overall this should (in theory), be a very good thing for Merlin and all their attractions for a number of reasons:

    1. Let's face it, from the shambles at LLW this season, to the state of Heide Park, to the 4pm closures at Towers, how could things have got any worse anyway?

    2. Kirkbi investments are already a massive shareholder in the business and know it very well. If they are willing to get into bed with other investors and put their hands in their pockets to increase their stake to half of the business, says to me they have some plans.

    3. Say what you want about Blackstone and their many forays into theme parks, but they do have a history of pumping the money in, even if they do look for the quickest exit possible.

    4. If a Canadian pension fund wants to pump money into your business, they want sustainable long term growth and would not invest if they didn't see that as being a highly likely outcome. That's the nature of pension fund investments.

    5. It's quite common for companies being taken private to strip the assets out and flog on. But I can't see that being the case with who the investors are. My gut feeling is they're going pump investment in then refloat in the future.

    6. They way they're taking about the deal. There's loads of talk of the need for investment for long term growth prospects and that they have no intention of splitting the group up. That could all be porkies of course, but I don't have the feeling it is.

    Merlin and it's attractions will be better off by far in the hands of the private investors than in the unsustainable state it's currently in. I feel that common sense has finally provailved.
     
  12. pluk

    pluk TowersStreet Member

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    Short of stature, short of ideas.

    It's been the same nonsense lines trotted out since around the start of this decade, I'm sure they even started to believe it themselves. The market responded badly to their business because their business was bad.
     
  13. IanSR

    IanSR TowersStreet Member

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    They're right abut terrorism and "London problems", nobody in their right mind visits London now it's such a ****hole and the media won't let you forget how many kids get knifed a day either, so it's no suprise if their visitor numbers are down.

    I wouldn't visit a central London attraction even if they paid me.
     
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  14. D4n

    D4n TowersStreet Member

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    Are you a parody account?
     
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    Posted 1st Jul 2019
    #94
  15. IanSR

    IanSR TowersStreet Member

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    No but obviously you haven't been to London recently either if you think it's some glowing unicorn filled utopia.

    ...and as for the other deleted comments, Mr Muscle Man hit the nail on the head, kind of ironic given the comments were deleted.
     
    Posted 1st Jul 2019
    #95
  16. Rob

    Rob TS Forum Team Team Member

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    Now now, let's not turn to personal/political attacks on fellow members in this thread please. The offending post has been removed.

    Thanks.
     
    Posted 1st Jul 2019
    #96
  17. SuperMuscleMan

    SuperMuscleMan TowersStreet Member

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    Thanks. I'm glad the offending post was along with mine. Just wanted to make a point that discussion on here should not be shut down and people should not be put into groups.

    I think IanSR has good points. I live below London and more and more of my friends avoid London. I noticed on my last Comic Con trip to London how different it was compared to 2 years ago.

    I also tell visitors to London to try the cable cars over going on the London eye. The views I believe are far better and good value.
     
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    Posted 1st Jul 2019
    #97
  18. IanSR

    IanSR TowersStreet Member

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    Thanks but let's not forget it wasn't either Mr Muscle or I who started throwing the insults around, just for context of those that weren't lucky enough to see thing prior to the post culling.

    It's amazing value for money, I think last time I went it was £6 or something like that.
     
    SuperMuscleMan likes this.
    Posted 1st Jul 2019
    #98
  19. Benzin

    Benzin TowersStreet Member

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    London is like every other major city in the world, has nice parts, dire parts and tourist parts...

    I get why people don't like London, it's a marmite city and as the capital gets a lot of attention... But every major city is exactly the same, plenty of stabbings and incidents in Leeds...

    But if you're not going into the centre (most of the incidents occur in the suburbs) because of them then it's a peculiar decision, much like those who don't go due to the threat of terrorism which has been proven to occur anywhere in the world...

    Wouldn't surprise me if saturation of the market has caused the Midways to fall down... Plenty of them across the country, and due to brand obsession once you've done one you really don't need to do another...

    The vigorous expansion is also their downfall...
     
    Posted 1st Jul 2019
    #99
  20. IanSR

    IanSR TowersStreet Member

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    I used to have to go twice a week for work to the center, that was enough.
     
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