Merlin looking to raise $3+ billion in IPO. Hmmm... what could it spend that on?
Published: September 6, 2009 at 2:38 PM
A British newspaper reported today that Legoland owner Merlin Entertainments Group, is planning an initial public offering [IPO] on the London stock exchange, one that could earn the company more than 2 billion pounds (in excess of $3 billion).
Merlin's current largest shareholder is Blackstone Group, which also partners with NBC Universal in the Universal Orlando Resort. Blackstone, possibly via Merlin, has been tipped as a potential bidder for the up-for-sale Busch Entertainment Corp. theme parks, which include SeaWorld and Busch Gardens.
An IPO would raise a chunk of the cash necessary for that deal quite nicely, plus make the resulting company even more attractive to potential investors. And if Merlin does not pursue or acquire the BEC theme parks, it would have a pile of cash on hand to either build or buy new properties.
So what will it do?