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Village Roadshow to sell Sydney Attractions Group

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So does this mean we might be getting a LEGOLAND!? :o Also because Village Roadshow are selling their Sydney attractions hopefully they will put it up on the Gold Coast. It's been a life long dream for me to go to a LEGOLAND. Fingers crossed!

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Very interesting move indeed. As for a Legoland in Australia the article states Legoland Discovery Centre and not Legoland. The Discovery Centres are a lot smaller than a fully fledged Legoland park. I was a little confused when I saw Sydney Aquarium and Wildlife World's holiday entertainment (Lego exhibitions) a few weeks back. It makes a bit more sense now. I wonder what they'll do with their spare $115 million - another Wet'n'Wild somewhere?

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$115 million is more than enough for that B&M we have been waiting for in MW ;) This is a very surprising move though, but it's good to see Merlin getting involved here in Australia. Hopefully this is a sign of more good things to come for our parks, even if it may be all the way down in Sydney!

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I will be pleased if this means that Village plans to focus their efforts on theme and water parks even more now. It seems like this is the direction they are heading in with the parks overseas and the announcement of the very promising Wet 'n' Wild Sydney. A Legoland or 2 might be a good addition to their portfolio. I note that Legoland in California recently opened a lego waterpark as an addition to the existing park. I think Village could do this very well

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let's hope that with their spare 115 mil they will do some work on HSD and make it a bigger arena topping Disney's Hollywood Studios Lights Motors Action show!
Fail. It can't be made any bigger (And you may recall the arena was increased in size as much as practicable from the original police academy set) .....WB Kids Zone the north, property boundary to the west, Dirty Harrys & Scooby Doo to the South, Main street and the grandstand to the East. Where exactly do they expand it? Edited by Gazza

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I guess considering the remaining theme park divisions have about $300million in debt, the $115million could well be going to pay back some of that, or to pay for WnW Sydney, or to fund the big new entertainment area out the front of MW (which I think would make a nifty place for a Lego Discovery Center) or the new parks they want to build in Aisa. In other words, I don't expect to see Village go on a $115million spending spree on the Gold Coast parks.

Edited by joz

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I guess considering the remaining theme park divisions have about $3000million in debt, the $115million could well be going to pay back some of that, or to pay for WnW Sydney, or to fund the big new entertainment area out the front of MW (which I think would make a nifty place for a Lego Discovery Center) or the new parks they want to build in Aisa. In other words, I don't expect to see Village go on a $115million spending spree on the Gold Coast parks.
$3 billion in debt? wow! (check your zeros) The article says what their plans are -
"Consistent with VRL's recent capital management strategies... culminating recently in the simplification of its capital structure, the net cash proceeds from the transaction will enable VRL to repay substantial corporate net debt allowing the VRL Board to consider the recommencement of dividend payments for the six months ended December 31, 2010," Village Roadshow said.

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Fail. It can't be made any bigger (And you may recall the arena was increased in size as much as practicable from the original police academy set) .....WB Kids Zone the north, property boundary to the west, Dirty Harrys & Scooby Doo to the South, Main street and the grandstand to the East. Where exactly do they expand it?
Up. :P

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A bit of additional information from an Attractions Management article. The full article can be seen here.

[...] The deal is set to be completed in early 2011 and a spokesperson for Merlin said the group will look to initiate a "multi-million dollar" investment programme which includes rebranding the assets. The aquarium assets will eventually be operated as Sea Life centres and the Sydney Tower Observatory will become the first "Eye" branded attraction outside the UK. Plans are also in place to develop two more of the company's "Midway" attractions - a Madame Tussauds and a Legoland Discovery Centre. "This is an important step for Merlin", said Nick Varney, chief executive of Merlin. "This will be the perfect springboard as we work to continue the roll out of the Sea Life, Madame Tussauds, Eye and Legoland brands in the Asia Pacific region, complementing our existing strength in Western Europe and North America." [...] As part of the deal, Merlin and VRL have also entered into an understanding to explore further attraction developments in the Australian and wider Asia pacific markets. Graham Burke, chief executive of VRL, said: "This transaction also includes an understanding to consider developing brands such as Legoland Discovery Centres in partnership in Australia and Asia. "We are very excited to form a strategic alliance with Merlin because they are both entrepreneurial and have some outstanding brands."

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Im surprised with Merlin just buying the Sea World brand in America they don't want ours, heck the way VRTP are running it Merlin could do a better job, a mind getting Manta :P ... and don't they own part of the Universal Resort in Orlando which would mean they own that Wet'n'Wild and they would have experience with Movie related parks! And Joz, VRTP are back looking at buildings parks again in Asia???

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^It's not Merlin that own the SeaWorld/Busch parks, but Blackstone, and Blackstone own Merlin and Universal Orlando (And the other Univerals?) too. Each of these companies is pretty independent really, and they do their own thing.

Edited by Gazza

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I'm still don't quite understand why Village spent all that effort and $$$ in acquiring Sydney Attractions Group only to sell at a couple of years later (at a slight loss too)... any thoughts?

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when i was in luna park today due to it being 930 and not opening till 11 we decided to walk for an hour and a half to darling harbor, on this trip when crossing the WLW and aquarium i saw the 2 lego figures(ironic much? a cowboy and Poseidon with a purple conch ) then on the way back on the train EVERY stop in the city circle-ish area had lego signs nothing in-particular just lego like at TH there were 3 banners in a row of just lego people in a line. and in the A they had a lego shop too... i think this may of already happened...

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I agree it does seem like a funny coincidence but my understanding is the sale doesn't settle until sometime in January. So my guess is that there is nothing more to it

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Lego have some strange promotion going at the moment. There's a bus stop in front of my house with a single lego man, supposedly a Christmas Elf, then the lego symbol at the bottom.

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Lego on the loose has been planned for months - check out the micro-site on myfun.com.au or google "Lego on the loose" for all the details on the project (including some great building videos of the models in Europe). The Lego Store has replaced the gelato shop and opened at the beginning of last week. As you will see through the site, there are models all through the Aquarium and Wildlife World, as well as a 4D Lego film showing at the Sydney Tower (in addition to Oztrek). It' a great fit with Merlin and is planned to remain in situ (with alterations/additions) for the next year. Cheers! Wayne. B)

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Lego have some strange promotion going at the moment. There's a bus stop in front of my house with a single lego man, supposedly a Christmas Elf, then the lego symbol at the bottom.
There's an article on the campaign here: http://www.campaignbrief.com/2010/12/lego-...ittle-help.html Last year they had a similar campagin that was a bit of a fail....Basically a lego Santa was featured on bus stop posters, with the words "Search: Santas Little Helper" so clearly it was reaching out to those on mobile devices (Being at a bus stop and all) So you duly go and put that term into google and the campaign site is the top (purchased) result. You then go into the site, but it's done with flash, so the people it was aimed at can't actually use it. Edited by Gazza

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Very interesting move indeed. As for a Legoland in Australia the article states Legoland Discovery Centre and not Legoland. The Discovery Centres are a lot smaller than a fully fledged Legoland park. I was a little confused when I saw Sydney Aquarium and Wildlife World's holiday entertainment (Lego exhibitions) a few weeks back. It makes a bit more sense now. I wonder what they'll do with their spare $115 million - another Wet'n'Wild somewhere?
I went to the 'Legoland Discovery Centre" in Berlin last year. It was pretty cool. Not huge, had a bizzare little indoor ride inside, that was like a lego Haunted House. Here is a pic of the lego version of the Reichstag Building as well as the Brandenburg Gates post-170-1292852688_thumb.jpg

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The deal was finalised just over a week ago.

Plans for a Madame Tussauds in Sydney The European company which has taken control of several Australian tourist attractions says it plans to open a Madame Tussauds wax museum in Sydney in 2012. Merlin Entertainments Group's $115 purchase of Village Roadshow Ltd's Sydney Attractions subsidiary was completed on Thursday, sealing the European group's entry into the Australian market. Sydney Attractions includes Sydney Aquarium, Sydney Wildlife World, Oceanworld Manly, Sydney Tower Observation Deck and Sky Walk, Hamilton Island Wildlife Park in Queensland, and Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World in Auckland. Advertisement: Story continues below Merlin said it would invest several million dollars in the six Australian attractions. On top of that, it wants to expand its Madame Tussauds operations to Sydney, strengthening its presence in the Asia Pacific region. Merlin has opened Madame Tussauds attractions in Hong Kong and Bangkok, and will be opening another of its attraction, Legoland, in Malaysia in 2012. Merlin's Australia and New Zealand divisional director Edward Fuller said the newly acquired Australian attractions will complement Merlin's business. "These are exciting attractions with enormous potential," he said in a statement. "They are well established and of a very high quality, and I believe will benefit greatly by being part of the Merlin family." Based in the UK, the privately-owned Merlin owns 64 attractions, six hotels and two holiday villages in 14 different countries.

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Merlin Entertainments Group's $115 purchase of Village Roadshow Ltd's Sydney Attractions subsidiary
Didn't realise they were in that much financial distress, but if I'd realised that - i'd have given em $200 for it....

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