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An activist investor urges Merlin, owner of Madame Tussauds, to go private: FT



(Reuters) – Activist investor ValueAct has urged Merlin Entertainments, owner of Madame Tussauds, of the London Eye, Alton Towers, to remain private, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.

In an open letter to Merlin Chairman John Sunderland, ValueAct said the company could attract an offer of about 4 pounds per share, according to the FT report.

This would give the owner of Legoland a value greater than 4 billion pounds (5.06 billion dollars). According to Refinitiv Eikon, the group had a market capitalization of 3.42 billion pounds at the close on Wednesday.

Merlin and ValueAct, its second largest shareholder with a 5.34% stake, according to Refinitiv Eikon data, did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment.

Merlin, the second largest group of tourist attractions in the world behind Walt Disney, had to contend with rising labor costs and underperformance at Legoland parks last year, which hit the mark. of his action.

But he still guided to "positive outlook" for 2019 and his shares have risen 4.5% since the beginning of the year.

Merlin's current price "does not reflect the underlying value of the company and may not be in the foreseeable future," ValueAct said in its letter, according to FT.

Report by Shashwat Awasthi, additional report by Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru; edited by Gopakumar Warrier

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