Stock market plans for Blackpool Tower’s operators

Nick Varney has previously spoken of an Initial Public Offering in 2014.
Nick Varney has previously spoken of an Initial Public Offering in 2014.
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Attraction giant Merlin Entertainments is preparing a multi-billion pound stock market flotation, according to reports.

It is understood the company, which runs the Blackpool Tower Eye, Dungeon, Sea Life Centre and Madame Tussauds, could make an appearance on the FTSE 100 if it goes ahead with its plans in the first quarter of next year.

Although Merlin declined to comment on their future today, Nick Varney, the chief executive of the company, has always said he will launch an Initial Public Offering in 2014, but this could be done earlier if an opportunity presents itself.

Stephen Gregson, corporate finance director at Blackpool based Moore and Smalley Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors, says the flotation could bring further growth to Blackpool

He said: “Floating is about accessing funds for future investment. A local business floating is to generally access investment funds and if they do that I would expect they are going to use those funds to help grow the local business which should have economic benefits for the area surrounding it, like Blackpool.”

The flotation is likely to value the Poole-based company, which recently expanded in the USA and Asia, at £3.5bn, and comes after they recorded profits of £350m for 2012.

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