Merlin Entertainments Said to Seek Lower Rate on $2 Billion Loan

Merlin Entertainments Group Ltd., the private-equity backed owner of Madame Tussauds and the London Eye, is seeking to lower the rate on about 1.4 billion pounds ($2.1 billion) of loans, according to four people with knowledge of the matter.

The company may pay interest at 400 basis points, or 4 percentage points, more than benchmark rates on loans denominated in British pounds and Australian dollars, while the rate on loans in euros and U.S. dollars may fall to 375 basis points, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deal is private. Merlin also asked lenders to extend its loans by two years to 2019.

Poole, England-based Merlin Entertainments, which is owned by Blackstone Group LP, CVC Capital Partners Ltd. and Kirkbi A/S, is also seeking a credit line for acquisitions, the people said. Coordinators of the deal are Deutsche Bank AG, UniCredit SpA and HSBC Holdings Plc.

Susanna Voyle, a spokeswoman for Merlin who works for Tulchan Communications Group, declined to comment on the deal.

Merlin Entertainments’ owners are seeking to reduce their holding by selling shares in an initial public offering, Chief Executive Officer Nick Varney said in March. The IPO may take place next year, Merlin has said.

The company generated revenues of about 1.1 billion pounds in 2012 and net debt was about 1.3 billion pounds, according to its annual report. It’s seeking to reduce its ratio of net debt to earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization to less than three times ahead of the listing, Varney said. Leverage was 3.5 times at the end of 2012.

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