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Blackstone, CVC-backed Merlin Entertainment could strike £3.3bn valuation in IPO

30 Oct 2013

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Blackstone and CVC-backed Madame Tussauds owner Merlin Entertainments could be valued at up to £3.3bn when it lists on the London Stock Exchange next month.

The company, which also owns Legoland, intends to float between 20 and 30 per cent of the business by offering its shares at between 280p and 330p each.

Merlin has said it will use the IPO proceeds to reduce its debt pile, which currently stands at over £1.2bn. It also revealed that its private equity owners CVC and Blackstone will sell part of their stakes.

Last year Merlin saw revenues rise 15.4 per cent to over £1bn, while operating profits climbed 16.5 per cent to £258m.

Private equity firm Apax Partners created Merlin by backing a £57m management buyout of Vardon Attractions in 1998.

Hermes Private Equity bought the company for £72.5m in 2004 before selling it to Blackstone for £102.5m a year later.

Dubai International Capital, CVC Capital Partners and Danish family trust Kirkbi, which owns Lego, have since bought stakes in the business.

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