Merlin Entertainments prices float at 280p-330p a share

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Merlin Entertainments, which owns the London Eye and Madame Tussauds, announces price range valuing company at up to £3.3bn.

Twelve top directors at Madame Tussauds-owner Merlin Entertainments could be in for a £34m pay day next month if the attractions giant floats at the top of its 280p-330p a share price range.

Nick Varney, Merlin's long-standing chief executive who has led the company since 1999, is planning to cash in shares that could be worth as much as £9.5m, as Merlin prepares to float up to 30pc of the business on the London Stock Exchange. Mr Varney is planning to sell only a portion of his shares and would still be left with a stake in the company worth as much as £22m.

Chief financial officer Andrew Carr, who has been involved with the group since 1996, could also receive a £5.52m payout as he prepares to sell as many as 1.7m shares, which would still leave him with a holding potentially worth £12.9m

Around 2,000 employees and managers will share in a windfall worth up to £94m, which would still leave staff with a collective stake of 4.6pc. At 330p-a-share their remaining stake would be worth £152m.

On Wednesday, Merlin announced it has set the price range for its long-awaited initial public offering, which could value the company at up to £3.3bn and raise as much as £1bn. The company will receive £200m-£165m to pay down debt and £35m to pay advisory fees associated with the flotation.

Staff and major shareholders Kirkbi - the Danish family trust that owns the Lego brand - Blackstone (NYSE: BX - news) and CVC Capital Partners could collectively raise almost £800m by selling down a portion of their holdings.

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