The world of private equity just got a bit phonier. Not that there is more deceit today among the world's most powerful private equity funds than there was last week. It's just that private equity the giant Blackstone just picked Madame Tussauds, the theme-park company famous for its famous waxwork fakes of celebrities and historical figures. (That's the Kate Moss waxwork to the left.)
How long until BlackWax gets a figure of Blackstone founder Stephen Schwarzman?
From the Wall Street Journal:
Private-equity firm Blackstone Group agreed to buy the owner of Madame Tussauds waxworks museums for £1.03 billion ($2 billion), creating the world's second-biggest theme-park company by visitor numbers after Walt Disney Co.
The deal combines Tussauds waxworks museums and theme parks and the London Eye Ferris wheel with Blackstone-owned Legoland, Sea Life aquariums and Gardaland theme parks, which are held in its Merlin Entertainments Group.
Dubai International Capital LLC bought Tussauds, home to wax versions of celebrities from Brad Pitt to Queen Elizabeth II, for £800 million two years ago. DIC will keep a 20% stake in the combined company.
Merlin Entertainments Chief Executive Nick Varney will become CEO of the combined company. Mr. Varney said the enlarged company eventually plans to seek a public listing through an initial public offering. "It's certainly part of our plans," he said. "We would like to bring it to market at some point."
Blackstone Agrees to Acquire Parent of Madame Tussauds [Wall Street Journal]