Chinese investor backs Merlin Entertainment to build Legoland Shanghai

by Alice Davis | 22 Oct 2015

Global theme park and attractions operator, Merlin Entertainments, which is number two in the world to Disney, has revealed plans to build a Legoland in Shanghai.

The US$300m (£194m, €265m) Legoland Shanghai is a joint venture between Merlin and Chinese investment firm China Media Capital.

The popular Lego-themed attraction has been making headway in the Asian market in recent years, with Legoland parks under construction in Japan and South Korea, and Legoland Malaysia open since 2012. Legoland is also expected to open at Dubai Parks and Resorts in the UAE in 2016.

Other mid-sized – or 'midway' – attractions development opportunities in China will also be explored by the joint venture partners who will look to other Merlin brands, such as Legoland Discovery Centres and the company's joint venture with DreamWorks IPs such as Kung Fu Panda for other roll outs.

"China is a key growth market for the Group and we see this partnership as providing a significant opportunity to accelerate our plans," said Nick Varney, CEO of Merlin Entertainments.

"It’s a great honour to be supported by top leaders of both nations in forging this strategic partnership with Merlin," said Ruigang Li, chairman of China Media Capital.

"Through investing and operating across the whole spectrum of the media and entertainment sector, CMC has accumulated unique experience in aligning international know-how with local market needs. Through this partnership with Merlin – a global operator – we will be committed to creating a premium experience, as well as establishing a working system in China for the development and operation of location-based entertainment attractions that meet international standards," he concluded.

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Global theme park and attractions operator, Merlin Entertainments, which is number two in the world to Disney, has revealed plans to build a Legoland in Shanghai. The US$300m (£194m, €265m) Legoland Shanghai is a joint venture between Merlin and Chinese investment firm China Media Capital. The popular Lego-themed attraction has been making headway in the Asian market in recent years, with Legoland parks under construction in Japan and South Korea,
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Merlin Entertainments CEO Nick Varney expects China to be a significant growth market for the company / Merlin Entertainments
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