Merlin looking to raise $3+ billion in IPO. Hmmm... what could it spend that on?
How's this for a juicy tidbit to whet your appetite for speculation?
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?
A little birdie said that Blackstone was in Orlando meeting with Busch and InBev execs. Of course it was a little birdie, so you know how that goes.
@ Derek Potter
Merlin buying the Busch/Inbev parks has always been the one that made the most sense to me since Inbev took over and rumors of their sale started. I think it would be great and fit in perfectly with the Merlin family friendly and well maintained parks. I hope it happens!
Stay tuned to this story, folks.
It would be interesting if this deal happened. Merlin have had a huge impact on the parks in the UK (where I live), bringing rides such as SAW - The Ride to Thorpe Park, and SW6 (secret weapon 6) for Alton Towers. There have however been rumours that some of the UK parks have been lacking funding to upkeep exisiting areas (generally tidy ups of theming around the park). Going to watch this closely.
Although I don't understand the many dollars, cents, and connections to theme park buying 101... I've been following this Blackstone group and I have to admit, a buy of the AB-Inbev parks isn't a bad idea.
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.