Merlin lines up Sunderland

The backers of theme park group Merlin Entertainments are lining up John Sunderland as chairman ahead of a stock market floatation next year. Merlin’s shareholders, which include Blackstone and Dubai International Capital, have identified the former chief executive and chairman of Cadbury-Schweppes to take the firm public. Merlin Entertainments, which owns Alton Towers, Legoland and Madame Tussauds, is also talking to other candidates but sees Sunderland as the first choice, according to Sky News.