More heat behind the Merlin/Busch takeover rumors
Written by Robert Niles
Lots of publications are jumping over the Telegraph's report that Merlin Entertainments Group stakeholder The Blackstone Group is considering a play for Busch Entertainment Corp., the theme park arm of the Anheuser-Busch, said to be for sale after the takeover of the brewer by Belgian conglomerate InBev.Tweet
This should be nothing new to TPI readers. Remember, we fingered Merlin as the most likely suitor back in June. The Telegraph story suggests that Blackstone might make a play independent of Merlin, then possibly merge BEC with Merlin... or even Universal Orlando, of which Blackstone owns half.
I can't see the UO deal happening, mostly because of the NBC Universal/GE involvement. But, if InBev doesn't sell the parks to the Busch family, then Merlin/Blackstone remains a definite candidate to obtain Busch Gardens and SeaWorld.
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