Monday, July 23, 2007

Merlin Entertainments Group Completes £622 Million Sale Leaseback of Top Tourist Attractions in UK

Property Week - July 20, 2007

Nick Leslau’s Prestbury has bought a portfolio of famous UK tourist attractions from private equity group Blackstone in a £622m sale and leaseback. The portfolio, sold by Blackstone-controlled Merlin Entertainments Group, features four UK assets, Madame Tussauds London, Thorpe Park, Alton Towers and Warwick Castle. It also includes one continental European asset, the Heide Park theme park in Soltau, northern Germany.

The properties were sold to Prestbury’s investment fund, Prestbury 1 Limited Partnership, and will be leased back to Merlin on 35-year renewable leases. The fund’s major investors are Sir Tom Hunter’s West Coast Capital, Icelandic retail investor Baugur and HBOS. It is managed by Prestbury. For the Merlin deal the four investors have put up £100m equity each, and three smaller investors have put up £25m of equity each.

Sandy Gumm, finance officer at Prestbury, said the deal was a formalisation of the ad-hoc arrangement whereby the parties had co-operated on several previous sale and leasebacks. "We’ve done a string of deals with these guys, and we know we like working with them," she said. Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Wikinvest Wire