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NEWS
Merlin expands into Australia and NZ
POSTED 17 Dec 2010 . BY Tom Walker
UK-based Merlin Entertainments Group has acquired the tourism and attractions arm of Australia-based Village Roadshow (VRL) in a deal worth AU$115m (US$114m, £73m, €85m).

The deal includes the Sydney Attractions Group and Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World and marks Merlin's entry into the Australian and New Zealand leisure markets.

Following the deal, Merlin will operate three of Sydney's top tourist attractions - Sydney Aquarium, Sydney Wildlife World and the Sydney Tower Observatory and Skywalk.

The assets also include Manly Oceanworld in Sydney, the Hamilton Island Wildlife Park in Queensland, and Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World in Auckland, New Zealand.

The deal is set to be completed in early 2011 and a spokesperson for Merlin said the group will look to initiate a "multi-million dollar" investment programme which includes rebranding the assets.

The aquarium assets will eventually be operated as Sea Life centres and the Sydney Tower Observatory will become the first "Eye" branded attraction outside the UK.

Plans are also in place to develop two more of the company's "Midway" attractions - a Madame Tussauds and a Legoland Discovery Centre.

"This is an important step for Merlin", said Nick Varney, chief executive of Merlin.

"This will be the perfect springboard as we work to continue the roll out of the Sea Life, Madame Tussauds, Eye and Legoland brands in the Asia Pacific region, complementing our existing strength in Western Europe and North America."

Merlin's existing sites in the Asia Pacific region include Madame Tussauds attractions in Hong Kong, Shanghai and most recently in Bangkok, which opened earlier this month.

The group will also be opening a large Legoland Park in Malaysia in 2012, in partnership with Iskandar Investment Behar.

As part of the deal, Merlin and VRL have also entered into an understanding to explore further attraction developments in the Australian and wider Asia pacific markets.

Graham Burke, chief executive of VRL, said: "This transaction also includes an understanding to consider developing brands such as Legoland Discovery Centres in partnership in Australia and Asia.

"We are very excited to form a strategic alliance with Merlin because they are both entrepreneurial and have some outstanding brands."

MORE NEWS
Carowinds expands to year-round opening, confirms Aeronautica opening for 2023
Carowinds theme park in North Carolina, US, has launched year-round operations this month (January 2023).
Disney hints at new gate for Walt Disney World as part of Lake Nona campus development
Disney has filed a planning application that kickstarts the group's plans to create a future regional campus and HQ in Florida, US.
London's Natural History Museum works with Thoughtworks and Amazon Web Services on Urban Nature project
Natural History Museum has embarked on a project which will turn the iconic museum's London location into a biologically diverse green space.
London to get its own "Garden in the sky", as Camden Highline gets green light
Planning approval has been granted for Camden Highline, a project to transform a section of disused railway into a new elevated urban park for London.
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Jobs    News   Products   Magazine
NEWS
Merlin expands into Australia and NZ
POSTED 17 Dec 2010 . BY Tom Walker
UK-based Merlin Entertainments Group has acquired the tourism and attractions arm of Australia-based Village Roadshow (VRL) in a deal worth AU$115m (US$114m, £73m, €85m).

The deal includes the Sydney Attractions Group and Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World and marks Merlin's entry into the Australian and New Zealand leisure markets.

Following the deal, Merlin will operate three of Sydney's top tourist attractions - Sydney Aquarium, Sydney Wildlife World and the Sydney Tower Observatory and Skywalk.

The assets also include Manly Oceanworld in Sydney, the Hamilton Island Wildlife Park in Queensland, and Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World in Auckland, New Zealand.

The deal is set to be completed in early 2011 and a spokesperson for Merlin said the group will look to initiate a "multi-million dollar" investment programme which includes rebranding the assets.

The aquarium assets will eventually be operated as Sea Life centres and the Sydney Tower Observatory will become the first "Eye" branded attraction outside the UK.

Plans are also in place to develop two more of the company's "Midway" attractions - a Madame Tussauds and a Legoland Discovery Centre.

"This is an important step for Merlin", said Nick Varney, chief executive of Merlin.

"This will be the perfect springboard as we work to continue the roll out of the Sea Life, Madame Tussauds, Eye and Legoland brands in the Asia Pacific region, complementing our existing strength in Western Europe and North America."

Merlin's existing sites in the Asia Pacific region include Madame Tussauds attractions in Hong Kong, Shanghai and most recently in Bangkok, which opened earlier this month.

The group will also be opening a large Legoland Park in Malaysia in 2012, in partnership with Iskandar Investment Behar.

As part of the deal, Merlin and VRL have also entered into an understanding to explore further attraction developments in the Australian and wider Asia pacific markets.

Graham Burke, chief executive of VRL, said: "This transaction also includes an understanding to consider developing brands such as Legoland Discovery Centres in partnership in Australia and Asia.

"We are very excited to form a strategic alliance with Merlin because they are both entrepreneurial and have some outstanding brands."

MORE NEWS
Carowinds expands to year-round opening, confirms Aeronautica opening for 2023
Carowinds theme park in North Carolina, US, has launched year-round operations this month (January 2023).
Disney hints at new gate for Walt Disney World as part of Lake Nona campus development
Disney has filed a planning application that kickstarts the group's plans to create a future regional campus and HQ in Florida, US.
London's Natural History Museum works with Thoughtworks and Amazon Web Services on Urban Nature project
Natural History Museum has embarked on a project which will turn the iconic museum's London location into a biologically diverse green space.
London to get its own "Garden in the sky", as Camden Highline gets green light
Planning approval has been granted for Camden Highline, a project to transform a section of disused railway into a new elevated urban park for London.
Continuum Attractions takes over Loch Ness attraction and pledge £1.5m investment
Continuum Attractions has acquired The Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition near Inverness, Scotland, UK.
Esbjerg’s landmark maritime center, designed by WERK Arkitekter and Snøhetta, opens to the public
A new landmark maritime centre has opened to the public in Esbjerg, Denmark.
+ More news   
 
COMPANY PROFILES
Mather & Co

We lead the world in incredible museum, exhibition, and attraction design. We work across the herita [more...]
Vekoma Rides Manufacturing B.V.

Vekoma Rides has a large variety of coasters and attractions. [more...]
Sally Corporation

Our services include: Dark ride design & build; Redevelopment of existing attractions; High-quality [more...]
IAAPA EMEA

IAAPA Expo Europe was established in 2006 and has grown to the largest international conference and [more...]
+ More profiles  
FEATURED SUPPLIER

Behind the Scenes of IAAPA Expo 2022 with Michael Shelton
There is no place like IAAPA Expo, it’s the place to take in the most exciting sights, smells, tastes, and sensations that will take your career and attraction to new heights! The excitement, energy and opportunity are palpable. [more...]
VIDEO GALLERY

Red Raion Showreel 2022
Last year was a blast! Find out more...
More videos:
Testimonial Richard Needham - SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment – Red Raion
Keynote | Moby Dick - Friends to the rescue! – Red Raion
ProSlide's all-in-one waterplay entertainment center – Proslide Tech Inc
+ More videos  

CATALOGUE GALLERY
+ More catalogues  
DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

05-06 Mar 2023

CryoCON 2023

Renaissance at Plano Legacy West Hotel, Dallas, United States
10-12 May 2023

Asia Pool & Spa Expo

China Import & Export Fair Complex, China
+ More diary  
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media
Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2023

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