The owner of Madame Tussauds and London Dungeons has been slapped with a winding up petition by Experian.
Merlin Entertainments, which owns theme parks such as Alton Towers and Legoland as well as some of London’s top cultural destinations, faces proceedings due to a dispute over a unpaid business debt.
A winding up petition sees unpaid creditors take legal debt collection action against a company owing unpaid business debts.
Experian’s petition relates to a subsidiary, named Merlin Attractions Operations Limited, rather than the group.
However, Merlin Entertainments has sought to quash any speculation about the leisure operator’s financial position and said Experian’s petition is “wholly inappropriate”.
The company will be applying to set the petition aside, a spokesperson said.
Experian’s claim was focused on a “very small debt” and it would be “completely false and damaging” to suggest the firm was in financial difficulty “in any way,” they added.
“Merlin Entertainments has a 20-year track record as a highly cash generative company, and supportive owners. Our 2021 audited accounts show a strong recovery from the pandemic,” they said.
Merlin’s spokesperson pointed to the recent opening of its tenth Legoland, in Korea, and said the company continued to invest in “exciting and ambitious projects.”
In the leisure firm’s half-year review published in June, the operator noted “robust consumer demand and elevated revenues per visitor” across markets including the UK.
The company had seen a revival of fortunes as Covid lockdown restrictions had been eased across different regions.