Merlin Entertainments has signed an agreement to sell the management company of Ostend visitor attraction Earth Explorer to Blueprint Entertainment.
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Merlin Entertainments Managing Director Midway Attractions, Glenn Earlam, said, “Earth Explorer has been part of Merlin’s global portfolio since 2004, however since then our business has developed significantly. The company is now Europe’s No 1 visitor attraction operator with almost 100 attractions in 22 countries, and the main focus of our growth strategy is the global roll-out of our primary ‘midway’ brands – SEA LIFE aquariums; Madame Tussauds celebrity wax attractions; LEGOLAND Discovery Centres and the ‘Eye’ observation attractions.
“We therefore felt that a different operator may be better able to give Earth Explorer the kind of focus required to optimise the future development of a science based attraction. We are delighted to have found in Blueprint Entertainment a company that not only has significant science experience but also which will continue to develop the excellent concept of Earth Explorer in the future. That was certainly our objective when we decided to look for a buyer.”
Blueprint Entertainment already owns the Odysseum in Cologne and the Children’s Museum Explorado in Duisburg. The acquisition of Earth Explorer will place the German based company as the leading independent operator of science centres in Europe.
Andreas Waschk, chairman of Blueprint Entertainment, said, “With the acquisition of Earth Explorer we have implemented another step in our expansion strategy and we are delighted to be able to ensure that such an exciting attraction will be maintained in the future.”