In July 2010, CVC funds acquired a 28% stake in Merlin Entertainment Group.
Merlin is a global leader in branded, location-based family entertainment, operating over 70 attractions in 17 countries across 4 continents and welcoming over 40 million visitors annually. It is the largest operator of visitor attractions and theme parks in Europe and is second globally only to Disney. The group focuses on ‘fun learning', providing entertaining, interactive and educational experiences, principally for families and young adults. Merlin operates across three divisions:
• Legoland Parks: appealing to families with young children, located in Denmark, US (California), Germany and the UK, and with two new parks currently under construction in Florida and Malaysia.
• Resort Theme Parks: including four of the UK's leading theme parks (Thorpe Park, Alton Towers, Chessington World of Adventures and Warwick Castle), Gardaland in Italy and Heide Park in Germany.
• Midway Attractions: a portfolio of 47 indoor, mid-sized attractions, typically in urban/suburban environments with brands such as: Madame Tussauds, SEALIFE Centres, Legoland Discovery Centres, Dungeons and the London Eye observation experience.
CVC will work with Merlin to drive growth throughout the business organically and through targeted acquisitions, in particular through leveraging CVC's Asia network to accelerate Merlin's development in the region.