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Kirkbi to buy Merlin

ShropshireShropshire UKMember Posts: 47
announced this morning that Kirkbi Invest (founding family and parent of TLG) will be buying the remaining share of Merlin... eg legoland, Alton towers, London eye, sea life, madam thousands 

hopefully that means in time park stores and discovery centres will be full Lego stores with VIP etc as well as maybe more cross-brand tie ups.
The_Rancorgmonkey76FireheartInfinitymanBaby_YodaAanchir

Comments

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,515
    Yeah, just seen this on the BBC website:



  • The_RancorThe_Rancor Dorset, UKMember Posts: 652
    There were murmurs of this on my inside tour but at the time it felt like they were just going to come to an agreement to buy out the Billund Legoland - this is way beyond what I expected.

    It will indeed be helpful to buy Lego in proper stores at Merlin attractions. Perhaps even some City Lego at Sea Life Centres
  • gmonkey76gmonkey76 ChicagoMember Posts: 1,418
    edited June 28
    Hopefully it means we can buy the LEGOLAND sets online, or in LEGO Stores
  • AndyPolAndyPol UKMember Posts: 355
    I think this is great for so many reasons, mainly TLG looking after Legoland and that has to be an excellent idea!
  • stluxstlux LuxembourgMember Posts: 2,140
    edited June 28
    Personally I wouldn't necessary expect too many changes. After all it's KIRKBI buying Merlin, not TLG. KIRKBI already owned 29.6% of Merlin before today's deal; this now increases to 50%, with the remainder owned by Blackstone and CPPIB.
    KIRKBI is an investment company; this is not very different from KIRKBI owning part of e.g. Nilfisk.

    They might decide that closer cooperation between Legoland and TLG is what's best for the business, but it's not a guaranteed outcome of this deal.
    LostInTranslationklintonLyichirAstrobricksAyliffeAanchirsid3windr
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,515
    While it is parent / investment companies doing the owning, I wonder if there will be any cross branding. For example, they could modify the Ferris Wheel set into a London Eye.


    Mr_Cross
  • mr_bennmr_benn United KingdomMember Posts: 832
    Whilst it is an investment company, I think it's priorities (at least claim) to be different to a company like Blackstone, which is basically evil. (Yes, terrible generalisation).  

    Looking up on the website: http://www.kirkbi.com/en-gb/, it states that it's founded to promote a sustainable future for the family ownership of the LEGO brand through generations.  I think it's a good start.


  • dmcc0dmcc0 Nae far fae AberdeenMember Posts: 671
    ^No companies actually admit to be evil though (unless I missed that on the Blackstone website) ;)

    SumoLegodavetheoxygenmanLyichirAstrobricks
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 11,735
    dmcc0 said:
    ^No companies actually admit to be evil...
    Other than SPECTRE, Cyberdyne and Umbrella.
    dmcc0davetheoxygenmanGothamConstructionCoReesesPiecesgmonkey76SprinkleOtterBaby_Yoda
  • dmcc0dmcc0 Nae far fae AberdeenMember Posts: 671
    www.theumbrellacompany.co.uk while their wide selection of bespoke and stock umbrellas are undoubtedly pure evil, it doesn't actually say they are evil on their website.

    They say they are the Largest manufacturer of promotional umbrellas in the UK.  But we know the truth.  Stinkin' umbrella sellers with their dry clothes and hair.....
    Baby_YodaAstrobricksmaaaaaaa
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,515
    Plus Globex (The Simpsons) and Mom Co (Futurama).

    And I imagine Lex Corp is up there. Along with Lepin.
    GothamConstructionCogmonkey767BSBaby_Yoda
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 11,735
    Um, @CCC, those aren't real corporations.
    Baby_Yoda
  • 560Heliport560Heliport Twin Cities, MN, USAMember Posts: 781
    That's what they want us to think!
    Astrobricks
  • pxchrispxchris Oregon, USAMember Posts: 461
    Definitely surprising news. But I would love to see the outcome being a closer partnership between TLG and LEGOLand. The Discovery Centers too, though I've never been to one of those personally.
  • stluxstlux LuxembourgMember Posts: 2,140
    KIRKBI and Blackstone already joined owned Merlin from 2005 to 2013 (with CVC also holding a stake). So this is basically a return to how Merlin was run just a couple of years ago, with CVC now replaced by CPPIB in the consortium and KIRKBI having a larger % of the shares.
    They might do things differently now, they might not. It's not like KIRKBI's 30% stake left it completely voiceless in how Merlin was run before today. And there's also the 2/3 of Merlin's non-Legoland business to keep them busy.

    I'm keeping my expectations low, but happy to be pleasantly surprised.

    What I'm most curious about is whether they will put everything back under the Luxembourg holding company that managed everything in the 2005-2013 period, prior to the public listing. Seems it was never disbanded; still active under company register B109.647 ;)
    Well, at least Merlin Entertainments Group Luxembourg 3 S.à r.l. is still alive. 1 and 2 seem to have been discarded after 2013.
    SumoLego
  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,731
    SumoLego said:
    dmcc0 said:
    ^No companies actually admit to be evil...
    Other than SPECTRE, Cyberdyne and Umbrella.
    Read that as Spectrum (the cable company), and was about to agree with you...
    Baby_YodaPyrobugSumoLegodmcc0
  • The_RancorThe_Rancor Dorset, UKMember Posts: 652
    The only Spectrums I know are a games console and an organisation that protects Earth from the Mysterons.

    Like others have mentioned I hope someone from Merlin or Kirkbi had taken note of the dilapidated state and occasional poor customer service at Legoland Windsor and will try and do something to improve it. It's one of Merlin's most popular UK attractions.
    Astrobricks
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 11,735
    stlux said:
    I'm keeping my expectations low, but happy to be pleasantly surprised.
    However they are organized, as long as it doesn't create a Galidor-sized sucking sound on the bottom-line.  I like related-diversified investments, so long as expenses don't negatively effect the primary business.
    SprinkleOttergmonkey76
  • RogerKirkRogerKirk BrightonMember Posts: 334
    There were murmurs of this on my inside tour but at the time it felt like they were just going to come to an agreement to buy out the Billund Legoland - this is way beyond what I expected.

    It will indeed be helpful to buy Lego in proper stores at Merlin attractions. Perhaps even some City Lego at Sea Life Centres
    You can already (sometimes?) get a limited selection of Lego at Sea Life Centres - we had an annual pass that expired a couple of months ago, so went regularly over the last year. 

    The shop seemed to have half a dozen or so different City sets and across the year there were at least two 'find the giant Lego items hidden in the tanks and get a free minifigure' events, a large mosaic to help build by creating a small section and a huge pit of Lego to build with.

    It was all pretty good and made the visits much more entertaining.

    Hopefully this take over will mean more of this sort of thing at Sea Life Centres and other Merlin attractions and more Lego available in their stores.
    The_RancorAanchir
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 2,316
    Maybe now they’ll add a tunnel between the LEGO store and Sea Life at Mall of America ;)
    davetheoxygenmanLittleLoriAanchir560Heliport
  • ShropshireShropshire UKMember Posts: 47
    edited June 30
    There are several new friends sets with a sub theme of ‘sea rescue’.. 41381 rescue mission boat, 41376 turtles rescue, 41380 lighthouse rescue, 41378 dolphin rescue....

    coincidence ? Would sell well in sea-life centres
    RogerKirkLittleLoriAanchir560Heliportbgl_84
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 2,316
    There are several new friends sets with a sub theme of ‘sea rescue’.. 41381 rescue mission boat, 41376 turtles rescue, 41380 lighthouse rescue, 41378 dolphin rescue....

    coincidence ? Would sell well in sea-life centres
    Undersea exploration is a recurring theme in the Creator line, so there should almost always be something to cross-promote.
    Aanchir560Heliport
  • AanchirAanchir United StatesMember Posts: 2,794
    stlux said:
    Personally I wouldn't necessary expect too many changes. After all it's KIRKBI buying Merlin, not TLG. KIRKBI already owned 29.6% of Merlin before today's deal; this now increases to 50%, with the remainder owned by Blackstone and CPPIB.
    KIRKBI is an investment company; this is not very different from KIRKBI owning part of e.g. Nilfisk.

    They might decide that closer cooperation between Legoland and TLG is what's best for the business, but it's not a guaranteed outcome of this deal.
    I suspect it is at least an INTENDED outcome of this deal, though. Particularly in light of the creation of the LEGO Brand Group a couple years ago as a division of Kirkbi.
    The LEGO Brand Group oversees coordination between activities related to the LEGO brand (even beyond what The LEGO Group is involved in), and the transfer of Jørgen Vig Knudstorp to the management team of the LEGO Brand Group.
    Some scuttlebutt I've heard from Facebook friends who have worked closely with LEGO is that TLG has often been frustrated by PR issues associated with some of the ways Merlin has managed (or mis-managed) the LEGOLAND parks and discovery centers: For instance, poorly maintaining older attractions, creating policies that frustrate adults and kids alike, or pressuring LEGO not to open their own stores or run their own events in close proximity to certain LEGOLAND park locations.
    Considering that one of Kirkbi's main objectives is keeping the Kirk Kristiansen in a position where they can have some control over their reputation (which has been built on the reputation of the LEGO brand), I suspect that this is meant to be part of that mission, by attempting to diminish those sorts of conflicts of interest.
    SumoLegoThe_RancorAstrobricksBaby_Yoda560HeliportpxchrisRogerKirkLego_Star
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