Merlin Entertainments Plc has formed a strategic partnership with Big Bus Tours, the world’s leading owner/operator of open-top sightseeing buses.
The entertainment giant is investing $34.4m in the privately-owned company which runs a fleet of 400 buses in 17 major cities.
Merlin’s CEO, Nick Varney said, “We are delighted to announce this investment and partnership with Big Bus Tours. We see significant revenue synergies from this business with our own city centre attractions and there is already a clear overlap in 8 cities, including London, Hong Kong and San Francisco.
"This investment will facilitate a closer working relationship on the ground while enabling us to learn about a highly complementary business.”
With over 1, 500 members of staff and gross assets of $409.8m annually, Big Bus Tours attracts more than 4 million visitors to its Hop On Hop Off city tours each year.
“The significant overlap in geographic footprint and creation of memorable customer experiences enables opportunities to cross-sell and promote tickets for both companies, ” reported Pat Waterman, Chief Executive Officer of Big Bus Tours.
“Together, we will also be able to offer compelling new products, bundles and city passes to further delight our customers, ” he added.