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Legoland and Madame Tussauds waxworks owner Merlin Entertainments has accepted a £4.8bn takeover offer for the firm.

A group of investors, led by the Danish billionaire family which controls the separate toy firm Lego, has made the approach with other private investors.

Kirkbi Invest says it has the money and experience to “realise the company’s potential to grow”.

Merlin also owns the London Eye and Alton Towers.

Kirkbi already owns almost a third of the shares in Merlin Entertainments, and says it does not expect the deal to lead to any significant changes.

All existing Merlin attractions in the UK will remain open and it has no plans to sell any part of the business, it said.

Kirkbi chief executive Søren Thorup Sørensen said the group wanted to help the firm reach its “full potential, which we believe is best pursued under private ownership”.

“With a shared understanding of the business and its culture, we believe that this group of investors has the unique collective resources necessary to equip Merlin, for their next phase of growth,” he added.

Private equity firm Blackstone – part of the investment group – said it had the “substantial resources” required to support Merlin’s long-term plans “which will require significant investment to ensure its long-term success”.

Merlin is the second-largest operator of visitor attractions globally with more than 130 attractions in 25 countries.

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