Friday 22 February 2019 7:50 am

Snow deal: Merlin Entertainments sells off £100m Australian ski resorts

Legoland owner Merlin Entertainments has sold off its Australian ski resort portfolio for almost £100m.

The FTSE 250 group, which also owns London attractions such as Madame Tussauds, the London Eye and London Dungeons, said today that the "net proceeds will be used for general corporate purposes".

US mountain resort firm Vail Resorts, which has been expanding its ski empire in the last 12 months, has snapped up the Hotham and Falls Creek resorts in a deal worth £95m.

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Nick Varney, chief executive of Merlin Entertainments, said: "We are pleased to reach this agreement with Vail Resorts, which will allow us to focus on our core business of location based entertainment, specifically theme parks and Midway attractions. It will see the business transfer to a company with a strong track record in ski resort development, and we wish Vail Resorts and the teams in Australia well."

The news comes just over a month after Merlin announced a partnership agreement to build a Legoland Park in South Korea, as it looks to bolster revenue after missing expectations over the summer in the wake of higher labour costs.

Read more: Lego bricks and mortar: South Korea to get its own Legoland theme park

Merlin will report 2018 preliminary results on 28 February.

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