SeaWorld shares have spiked following reports that Merlin Entertainments is considering purchasing the company.

UK-based Merlin is the largest European entertainments company operating in Europe.

The company operates 123 attractions in 24 countries including LEGOLAND parks and the world’s biggest aquarium brand, SEA LIFE.

SeaWorld is reportedly already working with bankers on a possible sale. According to Bloomberg, Merlin is not the only potential buyer. The company has experienced falling attendance ever since a documentary, ‘Blackfish’, highlighted the potentially harmful effects of keeping orcas in captivity.

After longstanding pressure from conservation organisations around the world, the company halted its orca-breeding programme in 2016.

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