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Merlin Enters New Strategic Partnership with Hongkong Land for Expansion in China


Hong Kong  (Dec. 19, 2013) /PRNewswire/ — Hongkong Land, Asia’s premier property developer, has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Merlin Entertainments Plc, the world’s second largest visitor attraction operator, in a strategic partnership to bring more engaging leisure and retail experiences to China. The two companies have agreed to communicate regularly regarding their development agendas in China and actively explore opportunities to make Merlin’s world-famous entertainment brands a core component of Hongkong Land’s current and future property projects in the country.

Prior to the signing of the MoU, the two companies signed two letters of intent in March 2013 for numerous collaborations in Chongqing, China — one was to establish Merlin’s internationally-renowned celebrity waxworks, Madame Tussauds, and a SEA LIFE aquarium attraction at Hongkong Land’s Landmark Riverside; the other was to build a LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, Merlin’s unique indoor attraction for young children, at Yorkville, Hongkong Land’s first wholly-owned mixed-use development in the country. Signing the MoU heralds an even closer partnership between the two companies as they seek out new opportunities in the rapidly evolving China market.

The signing of the MoU took place in the presence of Mr Hugo Swire, Minister of State, Foreign & Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom, who was in Chengdu during British Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit to Hongkong Land’s WE City project earlier this month.

“Hongkong Land is very pleased to enter into this alliance with Merlin Entertainments, a company with an unsurpassed global reputation for excellence in entertainment,” said Mr Y K Pang, Hongkong Land’s Chief Executive. “Our partnership will redefine lifestyle experiences for the local communities and contribute to the social and economic development in leading cities in the country.”

Merlin’s Chief Executive, Mr Nick Varney, agreed, “Hongkong Land’s commitment to bringing the people ofChina a dynamic leisure and retail experience of global standards echos Merlin’s own strategy for the region. We believe that makes us Hongkong Land’s perfect partner. Merlin has a wealth of experience and expertise in creating and operating high quality attraction brands worldwide. We have already proven that the addition of our iconic brands to a retail development drives business, but we also believe that it will add a new dimension to the strategic development of the leisure and retail market in China.”

Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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