We believe that the Merlin Entertainments Group (Merlin) is the most exciting leisure company in the world. Our market, location based entertainment, or more specifically visitor attractions, is dynamic, fast growing and fun. Within this, Merlin is truly unique both in terms of its breadth of quality ‘branded’ businesses and its unrivalled commercial success.
The Story So Far
- Formed in 1999 via a buyout of Vardon Attractions from Vardon plc. Now owned by Blackstone, CVC, KIRKBI and Management.
- 2000-2009 delivered double digit EBITDA growth every year on its core portfolio (excluding impact of strategic acquisitions)- underlining the Group’s ability to maximise the potential of every one of its sites.
- Acquisitions of LEGOLAND Parks (2005), Gardaland (2006) and Tussauds Group (2007), increased scale by over 10 times in three years. Recent acquisitions include Sydney Attraction Group (2011) and Living & Leisure (2012)
- Merlin Entertainments Group is now the clear market leader in the UK and Europe and second only to Disney worldwide.
- Today the Group comprises 87 attractions in 19 countries across four continents welcoming 46 million visitors.
- These are managed through three Operting Groups – Resort Theme Parks, LEGOLAND Parks and Midway Attractions, supported by the Merlin Magic Making Department.
- A unique portfolio of iconic global brands including LEGOLAND, SEA LIFE, Madame Tussauds, supported by “local” heroes such as The London Eye, Gardaland and Alton Towers.
To create a high growth, international, family entertainment company with strong brands and a portfolio that is naturally hedged against external factors such as weather or localised market conditions.
Our strategy will be delivered through:
Continuing planned and predictable capital expenditure cycles appropriate to each Operating Group will provide the main drivers to growth across our existing estate. This will be complemented by strong price and yield management strategies based on continually improving guest experience.
Rolling out proven chainable brands internationally
We have strong, internationally recognised brands in LEGOLAND Discovery Centres, Madame Tussauds, SEA LIFE, Dungeons and the “Eye” which is the brand we are using to build our portfolio of “observation” attractions. We have the development skills internally to identify, secure and build 6 or 7 new Midway Attractions every year.
We intend to position all our themeparks as short break destinations in order to optimise their market reach and asset utilisation. Hotels and/or holiday villages are a clear market signal in achieving this and we plan to add new developments to our existing estate of six hotels and two holiday village on an ongoing basis. Additionally we will introduce second gate attractions from our Midway portfolio – like the recently opened SEA LIFE centres at LEGOLAND California and Gardaland.
Development of LEGOLAND Parks
We are looking to build on the unique positioning of our LEGOLAND theme parks. LEGOLAND Florida has recently opened in October 2011 and LEGOLAND Malaysia is currently in development and due to open in September 2012.
The visitor attraction market is highly fragmented and we consider ourselves well placed to take advantage of consolidation opportunities that will enhance our strategic aims.
Our number one priority
The delivery of memorable experiences to our millions of visitors underpinned by constantly monitored visitor satisfaction, world class people development strategies, and the very highest customer service and Health & Safety standards.