Shares in Legoland operator Merlin Entertainments (LON:MERL) rose over 2 percent on Thursday, after reports that it may be interested in buying parts of Seaworld.

According to a person familiar with the matter, Merlin has approached Seaworld with an offer for several parts of the business. However, it is thought that Seaworld is looking to sell its entire business in one deal.

The news was first reported by Bloomberg on Wednesday, but there has been no official comment so far from either party.

“We do not comment on speculation or rumours”, SeaWorld said in reaction to the news.

Merlin Entertainment has suffered a challenging couple of years, after a crash at its Alton Towers resort led to two young girls needing to undergo leg amputations. Its rumoured plans to buy parts of Seaworld will push the company, who also own Madame Tussauds and several other theme parks in the UK, further into international territory. In 2017, it opened a Legoland theme park in Japan as well as one in both Melbourne and Philadelphia.

Terrorist attacks in the UK have also negatively impacted on the group’s performance, with the group saying in August that both profits and revenues had fallen at its city centre “Midway” venues in the wake of attacks in both Manchester and and London Bridge.

Shares in Merlin Entertainments are currently trading up 2.48 percent at 459.50 (1137GMT).


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