Leisure group Merlin Entertainments, best known for Legoland Resorts and Madame Tussauds wax museums, is to be acquired in a £6bn (about R108bn) deal by the Danish billionaire family that controls toymaker Lego, private equity group Blackstone and a Canadian pension fund.

The consortium said on Friday it would pay 455p in cash per Merlin share, a premium of 15% over its closing price of 395p on Thursday. At that level, the offer will value Merlin shares at more than £4.7bn. The company has net debt of about £1.2bn, giving it an enterprise value of close to £6bn.

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