17 July – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Ashurst, the international law firm, has advised Blackstone Capital Partners IV on its €375 million acquisition of Legoland Parks. The deal includes Legoland’s four family theme parks in England, Germany, California and Denmark.
Last month Blackstone acquired Merlin Entertainments, the operator of visitor attractions such as Sea Life and the London Dungeon, and the intention is to combine the two businesses. Ashurst also advised Blackstone on the Merlin transaction. The new company will operate under the name of Merlin Entertainments and will be 70 per cent owned by Blackstone. The remaining 30 per cent will be controlled by Lego and its owners. As well as the four Legoland locations, the company will run Merlin’s 28 attractions based in eight European countries.
The Ashurst team in London was led by corporate partners Charlie Geffen, David Carter and Jonathan Angell, and international finance partner Helen Burton.
Advising on the corporate side were James Buckland, Alastair Holland, Georgina Barber, Mark Withey, Chris Young, Andrew Dailly, Luca Gori and Helen Taylor. Catherine Whitehead, Clinton Fenech and Gaby Briffett advised on the financing.
Also advising were IP/IT solicitors Sara Laver, Hans Schumann and Inbali Iserles; tax partner John Watson with Nicholas Gardner and Thomas Cartwright; competition partner Nigel Parr with Joanna Christoforou and Jamie Smith; employment partner James Cox with Caroline Lendrum and Fuat Sami; environmental partner Helen Loose with Emma Dane and real estate solicitor Ian Colquhoun
Frankfurt partners Stephan Kock and Klaus Herkenroth advised on German aspects of the acquisition, assisted by Jutta Geiger, Caspar Schnurbein, Nicole Vater and Darius Kulejewski. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett advised Blackstone on US aspects of the acquisition. Freshfields advised HypoVereinsbank, which provided the debt.