The Hustle

The Danish fun-glomerate behind Lego will take Merlin Entertainments private for $6B

Merlin Entertainment will go private after the Lego family agreed to buy it for $6B.


July 1, 2019

The Danish family behind Lego has partnered with Blackstone to take the owner of Madame Tussauds wax museum (and all of its high-profile candle-made stars) private.

The deal values Merlin Entertainments at $6B. Merlin also owns LegoLand theme parks, as well as other attractions in 25 countries.

‘They’re not my parents, they’re my roommates’

Kirkbi, the investment house of Lego’s founding family, and Blackstone owned Merlin before listing it on the London Stock Exchange in 2013.

But, after the London terror attacks, the UK theme park market slowed way down and shares in Merlin have been short of magic over the last few years.

The theme park even tried to move to the States in a bid to buy the unpopular SeaWorld. Things didn’t work out, and now it’s moving back in with the parents.

Welcome to the real world 

According to Bloomberg, the trend of private equity groups buying back businesses that they raised, after seeing them get beat up and dragged down in the public markets, to help them get back on their feet is often just what some struggling companies need.

Because as we all know, during hard times, there’s no better presence than family. Unless, of course, you consider the wax statues of Michael Jackson and his pet monkey, Bubbles, your family.

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