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Lego owners' PS6bn Merlin bid.

Alton Towers owner Merlin Entertainments has agreed a PS5.9 billion takeover bid from Lego's owners, a private equity giant and a Canadian pension fund.

Merlin, which also owns attractions such as Birmingham's Sea Life centre, Warwick Castle and Legoland, has agreed the bid from Kirkbi, the investment vehicle of Lego's Danish founding family, Blackstone and pension fund Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board. The deal values the company at 455p per share, giving the group a total enterprise value of PS5.9 billion. Merlin said it had rejected a number of previous takeover proposals.

Kirkbi, which is backed by the billionaire Kiristiansen family, currently owns an almost 30 per cent stake in the entertainment and theme park business. Merlin floated on the London Stock Exchange only six years ago, at an initial price of 315p per share.

Chairman Sir John Sunderland said: "Following an unsolicited approach by a consortium of investors, and after rejecting a number of their proposals, the Merlin independent directors believe this offer represents an opportunity for Merlin shareholders to realise value for their investment in cash at an attractive valuation."

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Publication:Express and Star (Wolverhampton, England)
Date:Jun 29, 2019
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