Freshfields, travers snare tussauds sale

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Travers Smith have teamed up to advise on the sale of a £1.03bn majority stake in the Tussauds Group to Ashurst client Merlin Entertainment, which is owned by Blackstone. Freshfields is advising Dubai International Capital on the sale of its interest in Tussauds, while Travers, led by corporate partner Paul Dolman, advised Tussauds’ management. The acquisition cements Ashurst as Blackstone’s firm of choice when it comes to European theme park acquisitions. The firm advised Blackstone on its original £102m purchase of Merlin in May 2005, and when the company bought Legoland two months later, then Italian theme park Gardaland last October, it turned to Ashurst. Goldman Sachs advised Blackstone on the latest deal and, together with Lehman Brothers and Hypo-und Vereinsbank, provided debt. Allen & Overy advised the banks.