Madame Tussauds owner Merlin Entertainments has agreed a £5.9bn takeover from a private equity giant and a Canadian pension fund who own Lego.
The deal values the business at 455p per share giving a 15% premium on the FTSE 100 firms 395p per share value on Thursday.
Chairman Sir John Sunderland said, “Merlin is a global leader in location-based, family entertainment, with a unique portfolio of brands and attractions spanning 25 countries and four continents, and with a proven strategy that has delivered over many years.
“The company has generated meaningful value since its IPO (Initial Public Offering), with significant growth in revenue, earnings and cash flow.
“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.”
Soren Thorup Sorensen, chief executive of Kirkbi said, “As the long-term owner of the Lego brand and as a strategic shareholder in Merlin since 2005, we have great pride and passion for this amazing company, its management team and its employees.
“With a shared understanding of the business and its culture, we believe that this group of investors has the unique collective resources necessary to equip Merlin, including the Legoland Parks and Legoland Discovery Centres, for their next phase of growth.”