London, UK — Reuters reports on the initial public offering be considered for either New York or London:
“Merlin Entertainments Group, the private-equity backed owner of Madame Tussauds and Legoland, is preparing to go public in either London or New York and has been meeting with potential investors, its chief executive said on Wednesday.
“The world’s second largest visitor attraction operator behind Walt Disney, had revenue of over one billion pounds for the year to Dec. 29 2012, and was valued at 2.25 billion pounds ($3.41 billion) in 2010 when private equity firm CVC Capital Partners bought a stake.
“‘We are definitely now considering our options,’ Chief Executive Nick Varney told Reuters, adding a sale would allow it to pay down debt of 1.27 billion pounds as at the end of December, and help fund expansion in the U.S and Asia.
” . . . Merlin, owned by the Danish investment company Kirkbi A/S that controls Lego Group, and private equity firms Blackstone Group and CVC, put off plans for a listing in 2010 due to jittery markets.
” . . . Late last year Seaworld Parks and Entertainment, also backed by U.S. private equity company Blackstone, filed with U.S. regulators for an initial public offering.
” . . . The group opened seven new attractions in 2012, taking it to almost 100 over four continents, and will open another six this year including a Sea Life centre in Manchester, England and Legoland discovery centre in New York.”