Varney still targeting Merlin stock market flotation

Merlin Entertainments chief executive Nick Varney has said he would still like to see his company become listed on the London Stock Exchange before he steps down.

Flotation was planned for last year, but turbulence on the markets meant that it had to be put on hold for the time being.

In an extensive interview with the Marketing Week website, Varney said: “As well as giving a return for our current owners, I would like to see Merlin established as one of the great public companies before I sign off. Not that I’m planning on signing off.”

Talking about Merlin’s continued global expansion, Varney also described attractions such as The Dungeons, Sea Life Centres and Madame Tussauds as “midway attractions”, which are to be rolled out around the world.

“With our midways Sea Life, Madame Tussauds, the Eye brand and so on, we are rolling out seven or eight of these a year. There’s nothing to stop us adding more brands to those rolling out in due course. That’s a difference between us and other operators,” he said.

He also revealed that there are 200,000 Merlin Annual Pass holders in the United Kingdom.