Legoland owner to buy Tussauds

The Tussauds Group is being sold to Merlin Entertaiment, the owner of Legoland, for £1bn. The deal will create the second-largest attraction operator owner after Disney.

The enlarged group will be run by Merlin Chief executive Nick Varney and Tussauds’ chief executive Peter Phillipson will become a non-executive director.

Merlin Entertainments, which is majority-owned by private equity company Blackstone Capital Group, will have the largest stake in the merged group and Tussaud’s owner Dubai International Capital (DIC) will receive £1.03bn in cash and a 20% stake in the combined business. DIC bought Tussauds for £800m in 2005.

Varney says of the deal: “The combination of the Merlin and Tussauds brands, people and operating expertise will create an exciting and world-beating global entertainment company.”

He adds that the expanded group will have “strong development potential” and aims to be the world leader in “location-based, branded, family entertainment”. It will also focus on accelerating current expansion plans for all brands, particularly in North America.

The merged group will have 50 attractions across 12 companies and over 30m visitors annually.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here