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5 Mar 2007

Hedge Fund Manager Merger Creates the World's No 2 Visitor Attraction Company

Some of the biggest brand names in the global theme park market today announced a partnership of two rapidly growing businesses, The Tussauds Group and Merlin Entertainments Group, making them the world's second biggest attractions operator after Disney.

Merlin Entertainments Group is known for theme parks such as Legoland, Sealife and several others. The company is controlled by hedge fund manager Blackstone Group.

On the merger with Merlin, international investment company Dubai International Capital LLC said, "Tussauds and Merlin are very complementary businesses and there is an obvious commercial logic in bringing them together."

The Tussauds Group is controlled by Dubai International which is known for its $1.23 billion acquisition of Travelodge, its $1 billion stake in DaimlerChrysler, and the $1.2 billion acquisition of Doncasters Group.

The Blackstone Group has raised a total of more then $67 billion for hedge fund and alternative investments since its formation. The group is currently investing its fifth general private equity fund with commitments of $15.6 billion. Other private equity investments in the leisure sector have included Universal Studios in Orlando, and Six Flags Theme Park.

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