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Merlin buys Village Roadshow attractions in Australasia

 
 
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  #1
Merlin buys Village Roadshow attractions in Australasia
Old 20-12-2010

this seems to have escaped notice (I think). Merlin is the company that owns the Sealife Centres in the UK etc.
Merlin to Acquire Village Roadshow Assets for A$115 Million - Bloomberg
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17 December 2010

Merlin Entertainments Group, the U.K. owner of Legoland and Madame Tussauds, agreed to buy tourism assets from Village Roadshow Ltd. for A$115 million ($113.9 million) to expand into the Australian and New Zealand markets.

Merlin will acquire Sydney Attractions Group and Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World from the Melbourne-based media and entertainment company in a cash transaction that is likely to be concluded in the first quarter of 2011, Merlin said in an e- mailed statement today.

The transaction gives Merlin Sydney Aquarium, Sydney Wildlife World, Sydney Tower Observatory and Skywalk, Manly Oceanworld in Sydney, and Hamilton Island Wildlife Park in Queensland, Merlin said in the statement. It also receives Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World in Auckland.

“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 Chief Executive Officer Nick Varney said in the statement.

Merlin and Village Roadshow agreed to explore attractions in Australia and Asia Pacific markets, according to the statement.

Merlin established Madame Tussauds in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Bangkok and will open a Legoland Park in Malaysia in 2012 with its partner Iskandar Investment Behar.
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  #2
Old 20-12-2010

This is not exactly welcome news. I'd hate to think that Australia's premier aquarium might devolve into one of those bland, cookie-cutter SeaLife Centres.

If I recall it wasn't that long ago that Village Roadshow acquired the Sydney Attractions Group. I wonder why the quick turnover, with a loss on the transaction. Must have been a very weak 12 months or so for the business.
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  #3
Old 20-12-2010

No mention of the Gold Coast "jewels".
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  #4
Old 20-12-2010

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Originally Posted by Steve Robinson View Post
No mention of the Gold Coast "jewels".
The Gold Coast properties are a separate (and profitable) division of Village Roadshow Ltd. They are not included in the sale.
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  #5
Old 21-12-2010

Merlin also own Chessington World of Adventures, which includes quite a large zoo. In fact it wa origionally just Chessington Zoo.

According to some sites they also own the National Seal Sanctuary, but when I went to that property's web site it appears to be owned by a charity. A bit confusing.
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  #6
Old 21-12-2010

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Merlin also own Chessington World of Adventures, which includes quite a large zoo.
I'll have to correct myself. Have just been to the Chessington web site and the zoo angle seems to be quite minor now.
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  #7
Old 21-12-2010

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Originally Posted by MRJ View Post
I'll have to correct myself. Have just been to the Chessington web site and the zoo angle seems to be quite minor now.
It's quite a bit bigger now than it was just a few years ago, with a new small mammals area and an antelope/zebra paddock having opened. They also have a number of bigs cats, gorillas, sea lions, monkeys, birds, a reptile house, otters etc. It's nothing like the scale it was in the past, but it's not a tiny place.

But yes, for promotional purposes it's a theme park with a zoo attached, not an equal enterprise!
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  #8
Kelly Tarltons Sale Approved
Old 01-04-2011

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International amusements group Merlin Entertainment has been granted its wish to buy the Kelly Tarlton aquarium on Auckland's waterfront from Australian group Village Roadshow.

Ad Feedback Merlin runs 70 attractions in 16 countries, including Legoland and waxworks museum Madame Tussauds.

Because it was on sensitive land, the deal required Government approval from the Overseas Investment Office, which was given yesterday.

Campervan company Tourism Holdings sold Kelly Tarlton's to Village Roadshow in 2008 for $13 million, but no price was disclosed for the Merlin purchase.

The acquisition of the aquarium was part of a wider A$116m (NZ$157.5m) deal to buy the Sydney aquarium, Sydney Wildlife World, the Sydney Tower Observatory and other attractions in Australia.

Merlin runs the world's largest aquarium group, Sea Life.

Merlin has said it was committed to a multimillion-dollar investment programme for its new attractions in Australia and New Zealand. It also plans a Madame Tussauds in Sydney next year.
Hong Kong company plucks Tegel | Stuff.co.nz
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  #9
Old 01-04-2011

"This is not exactly welcome news. I'd hate to think that Australia's premier aquarium might devolve into one of those bland, cookie-cutter SeaLife Centres."

Gotta be better than Village Roadshow. Bland, cookie-cutter seems better than irrelevant, tacky, noisy, insulting
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  #10
Old 01-04-2011

I understand that Sydney Wildlife World will be reduced by approx. 50% to accomodate the Madame Tussauds attraction.



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  #11
Old 01-04-2011

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Originally Posted by Hix View Post
I understand that Sydney Wildlife World will be reduced by approx. 50% to accomodate the Madame Tussauds attraction.



Hix
that will please a few folk across the bay
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  #12
Old 01-04-2011

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Originally Posted by Hix View Post
I understand that Sydney Wildlife World will be reduced by approx. 50% to accomodate the Madame Tussauds attraction.



Hix
What is "Madame Tussad"? This is not good news since SWW has been improving over the years with exhibits such as "Kakadu Gorge".
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  #13
Old 01-04-2011

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Originally Posted by UrMumzAGoat View Post
What is "Madame Tussad"? This is not good news since SWW has been improving over the years with exhibits such as "Kakadu Gorge".
Madame Tussauds is a waxworks museum - the 'original' is in London but it has offspring in various other places (as well as wax museums started by members of the family, such as Louis Tussauds in Blackpool).
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  #14
Old 01-04-2011

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Originally Posted by UrMumzAGoat
What is "Madame Tussad"? This is not good news since SWW has been improving over the years with exhibits such as "Kakadu Gorge".
Madame Tussauds is a museum displaying life-size wax models of famous people. You wander round and look at the models and get your photo taken next to them if desired. They are found all over the world now.

EDIT: Maguari beat me to it. It is a great shame to do this to SWW. I'd personally much rather look at bulldog ants and goliath stick insects than a waxwork Paul Hogan!
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  #15
Old 01-04-2011

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Originally Posted by Hix View Post
I understand that Sydney Wildlife World will be reduced by approx. 50% to accomodate the Madame Tussauds attraction.



Hix
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Is there something we can sign to stop this???

Can't they put the museum in the boring old tower instead, currently the most disappointing attraction in Sydney???
 


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