Business

Legoland owner Merlin sees shares jump on market debut

Lego Star Wars characters
Image caption Merlin currently operates six Legoland parks around the world

Shares in Merlin Entertainments, the owner of Legoland and Madame Tussauds, have made a strong start on their debut on the London stock market.

After being priced at 315p, the shares jumped to 355p in early conditional trading before closing up 7% to 347p.

The flotation price of 315p a share valued Merlin, which also operates the London Eye and Alton Towers, at £3.2bn.

Merlin chief Nick Varney said he was "delighted" with the strong demand from both institutions and retail investors.

Merlin sold a 30% stake in the business, raising a gross total of about £957m for the company and the selling shareholders.

It said that 87.5% of the shares for sale had gone to institutional investors, such as pension funds, while 12.5% went to retail investors.

Retail investors who applied for the minimum of £1,000 of shares have been allocated 317 shares, worth £998.55.

Those who applied for more than £1,000 worth of shares will receive 317 shares, plus 55% of the remaining amount they applied for.

Shareholders will also receive perks, being entitled to discounts on some Merlin annual passes.

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