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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."

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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."

Sign up here to get the Attractions Management weekly ezine and every issue of Attractions Management magazine free on digital.
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Red Raion

Founded in 2014, Red Raion is the CGI studio specialized in media based attractions. [more...]
RMA Ltd

RMA Ltd is a one-stop global company that can design, build and produce from a greenfield site upw [more...]
Polin Waterparks

Polin was founded in Istanbul in 1976. Polin has since grown into a leading company in the waterpa [more...]
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+ More catalogues  
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tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
+ More diary  
 


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