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Merlin Entertainments is the world’s second-largest operator of visitor attractions, with 94 sites in 21 countries and brands including Sea Life and Madame Tussauds. Last year it opened or acquired 17 new attractions and welcomed 54m visitors, pushing revenues over £1bn for the first time. This has led the group to consider a stock market float. Merlin is run by chief executive Nick Varney, 50, and owned by Kirkbi, Lego’s investment company, private equity firms Blackstone and CVC, and its management.

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Company details
CompanyMerlin Entertainments
ActivityVisitor attraction operator
Sales £m*1,074
Profit £m*346
Year endDec 12
Principal shareholdersKirkbi, Blackstone, CVC, management

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* Supplied by company † Annualised figure