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Big IPO share gain for Madame Tussauds and Legoland owner

Big IPO share gain for Madame Tussauds and Legoland owner
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The newly minted shares of amusement park operator Merlin Entertainments jumped as soon as they started trading on the London stock market – gaining 12 percent.

The private-equity backed owner of Madame Tussauds, Legoland and the London Eye raised about 957 million pounds (1.1 billion euros) with its initial public offering of shares.

Merlin is the world’s second-largest attractions operator behind Walt Disney, with 54 million visitors last year.

It saw strong demand for the stock as it sold a 30 percent stake in the business.

A person familiar with the matter told Reuters the offer for 30 percent of the company was nine times oversubscribed.

Chief Executive Nick Varney said it was attractive to investors as it has “a resilient underlying business that is highly cash generative, with a strong brand portfolio”.

The company also has major expansion plans in places like China and the US.

Another reason they might have been keen to buy is that shareholders can get discount tickets for Merlin attractions.