Shareholder Adviser Supports Taking Merlin Private
Investors Chronicle (08/19/19) Janiaud, Alex
Merlin Entertainment's (MERLY) shareholders should support a consortium's 6 billion pound bid to take the company private, according to Pensions & Investment Research Consultants, a shareholder advisory service. In June, Merlin recommended that shareholders back the offer of 455p per share from Blackstone (BX), a Canadian pension fund and the Kirkbi family, which owns the Lego brand. The agreement came after ValueAct, the second-largest shareholder in Merlin with a 9.3% stake, issued an open letter in May that called on the company to "evaluate a public to private transaction." The day before ValueAct published the letter on May 22, the offer represented a 36.8% premium to the shares' closing price of 333p. Merlin Chairman John Sunderland said ValueAct's letter did not influence the deal, according to a Financial Times report. Shareholders are set to vote on the deal at Merlin's general meeting on Sept. 3, and the bid must win 75% of the vote to pass.
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