Dungeon owner Merlin to be valued as high as £3.3bn

Edinburgh Dungeon is one of Merlin's string of top sites. Picture: Scott Louden
Edinburgh Dungeon is one of Merlin's string of top sites. Picture: Scott Louden
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Merlin Entertainments, the company behind a string of attractions including Madame Tussauds, Legoland and the Edinburgh Dungeon, will be valued at as much as £3.3 billion when it joins the stock market next month.

Unveiling more details yesterday of its impending float, the private-equity backed group said that between 20 per cent and 30 per cent of the company would be sold in the listing.

It is offering its shares at between 280p and 330p each, giving a market value of £2.8bn to £3.3bn. The exact level will be disclosed when conditional dealings commence on 12 November.

The company, formed in 1999, made a previous attempt to float the business in 2010 but was thwarted by tough market conditions.

It generated revenues of more than £1bn last year and is Europe’s top visitor attraction operator and the second largest globally after Walt Disney. Other sites include Chessington World of Adventures and Warwick Castle.

Chief executive Nick Varney said: “The listing will provide us with the platform for our next stage of development.”

Members of the public, who have to invest at least £1,000 and in return will get a 30 per cent discount on certain annual passes to Merlin sites, have until 8 November to put in orders. Institutional investors, such as pension funds, will have until 11 November.

Kirkbi, the Danish family-owned investment firm which owns the Lego and Legoland trademarks and 75 per cent of the Lego Group, will retain a significant shareholding.