The owner of Legoland and Alton Towers, today confirmed it is not pursuing a possible takeover of SeaWorld.
Merlin Entertainments, the world's second-largest visitor attraction operator, said it is "not involved in any discussions that might lead to an acquisition of SeaWorld or any of its constituent parts".
It was reported last week that Merlin was eyeing a tie-up with SeaWorld, which has been struggling with declining sales.
Merlin also owns Madam Tussauds and the London Eye and a tie-up with SeaWorld – which also owns the popular Busch Gardens theme parks –was seen by analysts in a positive light.
Numis Securities analyst Tim Barrett told Bloomberg last week: “They have made a series of excellent acquisitions under [boss] Nick [Varney]
"That’s what he built his reputation on, and their ability to slot in good assets into their portfolio remains very high.”
Shares in London-listed Merlin fell 0.7 per cent.