Market values Merlin at £3.91bn

Nick Varney, chief executive of Merlin.
Nick Varney, chief executive of Merlin.
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Sealife Centre, Madame Tussauds and Blackpool Tower operator Merlin has been valued at £3.19bn by the market.

The compnay announced it was going to float on the Stock Market last month and it will go live on Wednesday.

Around 30 per cent of the company – 303.8m ordinary shares – will be sold, raising £957m including around £200m to pay down debt.

Merlin is owned three investment funds – Blackstone, Kirkbi and CVC Capital Partners – which will hold 22.6 per cent, 29.9 per cent and 13.1 per cent respectively after the sale.

Chief executive Nick Varney said: “We are delighted with the strong response from both institutions and retail shareholders to our offer. We have long stated our belief that becoming a public company was Merlin’s ultimate destiny, providing the right long-term ownership to enable the next stage of 
development. We look forward to continuing to deliver on our proven growth strategy as we further expand our unique portfolio of iconic international brands.

It is expected that the Company will be eligible for inclusion in the FTSE UK Index Series at the quarterly review in December 2013.

Merlin is the second biggest theme park operator in the world after Disney, operating 99 attractions in 22 countries including Alton Towers and the Legoland theme parks of which Kirkbi is the parent company.

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