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Merlin eyes Living and Leisure takeover

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UK-based attractions operator Merlin Entertainments Group has submitted a recommended takeover offer for its Asia-Pacific counterpart, Living and Leisure Australia Group (LLA).

Merlin, one of the world's largest attractions operator, has made a bid that values LLA at around AU$140m (£90m, EUR107m, US$139m) on an equity value basis.

LLA directors have backed the offer, which will continue the expansion of Merlin's existing Asia-Pacific operations subject to the approval of LLA security holders.

Nine destinations are owned and operated by LLA through three divisions, which feature the Oceanis Group aquariums and the Australia Alpine Enterprises ski fields.

The Australia Treetop Adventures attractions are also part of LLA's portfolio, with the deal set to follow Merlin's acquisition of Sydney Attractions Group earlier this year.

Merlin chief executive officer Nick Varney said: "Completion of this deal, together with our existing ongoing development, would represent an important step in our growth strategy for the region.

"The acquisition of LLA would open up new markets to us and facilitate the continuing roll out of the Sea Life, Madame Tussauds, Eye and Legoland brands in the Asia Pacific region."

Image: Sydney Aquarium

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UK-based attractions operator Merlin Entertainments Group has submitted a recommended takeover offer for its Asia-Pacific counterpart, Living and Leisure Australia Group (LLA).
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