Madame Tussauds owner Merlin to be bought by Lego family and Blackstone

FILE PHOTO - Visitors walk past as security personnel (L) keep watch outside a new Madame Tussauds Museum at the Qianmen Commercial street in central Beijing, May 29, 2014. REUTERS/Barry Huang

LONDON (Reuters) - Madame Tussauds owner Merlin Entertainments MERL.L is to be acquired by the investment vehicle of Lego's founding family and private equity firm Blackstone Group LP BX.N in a deal valuing the company and its debt at nearly 6 billion pounds ($7.6 billion).

The deal values Merlin shares at 455 pence each, giving the firm an enterprise value of 5.905 billion pounds, Merlin said on Friday. The acquiring consortium also includes Canadian pension fund CPPIB.

($1 = 0.7896 pounds)

Reporting by Alistair Smout; editing by James Davey