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Tussauds owner Merlin valued at $5.2 billion in float



Madame Tussauds owner Merlin Entertainments priced its London stock market listing at 315 pence per share on Friday, valuing the private equity-backed company at 3.2 billion pounds ($5.2 billion).

Merlin, which operates the global waxworks museum franchise, the London Eye ferris wheel and dozens of amusement parks and other visitor attractions across 22 countries, had originally set a range of 280p to 330p for the shares.

The company, which closed the offering early due to strong demand, said 87.5 percent of the sale had gone to institutional investors such as pension funds, while individual retail investors had received 12.5 percent of the shares.

The heavily oversubscribed sale of a 30 percent stake raised total gross proceeds of 957 million pounds for the company and its selling shareholders, prior to an over-allotment option which could see the size of the offering increased by 10 percent if there is strong demand.

Its owners, private equity firms Blackstone Group and CVC, company directors and employees and the Danish investment firm Kirkbi which controls Lego Group, all reduced their holdings via the offering.

Goldman Sachs and Barclays ran the sale and were joint bookrunners along with Citi and Morgan Stanley.

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