Private equity firm Blackstone Group is buying the owner of Madame Tussauds waxworks museums for about 1 billion pounds. The deal will amalgamate Tussauds, Sea Life aquariums and London Eye with Blackstone-owned Legoland and Gardaland theme parks, creating the world’s second-biggest theme park group next to Walt Disney. Legoland and Gardaland are held in Blackstone’s Merlin Entertainments Group.
“Our ambition is to build on this to become the world leader in location-based, branded, family entertainment,” Merlin Chief Executive Nick Varney said.
Dubai International Capital (DIC) had bought Tussauds for 800 million pounds two years ago, and is retaining a 20-per-cent stake in the combined group.