Affected market: Theme parks, leisure attractions, hotels
The OFT’s decision on reference under section 22 given on 12 August
2005. Full text of decision published on 17 August 2005.
Dubai International Capital LLC is the international investment arm
of Dubai Holding LLC (Dubai Holding), an investment company which has
subsidiaries operating in a variety of sectors.
The Tussauds Group Limited (Tussauds) is mainly active in the
operation of theme parks and leisure attractions in the UK, the
Netherlands, Germany, the US and Hong Kong. Prior to this acquisition,
Tussauds was owned by Charterhouse Capital Partners LLP. In the
financial year ended 1 January 2005, Tussauds' UK turnover was
approximately £157 million.
On 10 May 2005, Dubai Holding (see note 1) acquired the entire issued
share capital of Tussauds. The statutory deadline in this case expires
on 9 September 2005.
As a result of this transaction Dubai Holding and Tussauds have ceased
to be distinct. The UK turnover of Tussauds exceeds £70 million, so that
the turnover test in section 23(1)(b) of the Enterprise Act 2002 (the
Act) is satisfied. The OFT therefore believes that it is or may be the
case that a relevant merger situation has been created.
Prior to this acquisition, Dubai Holding was not active in the field of
theme parks or leisure attractions in the UK. There is therefore no
horizontal overlap between the parties in this regard. Dubai Holding
manages two hotels in London, and Tussauds has a hotel at Alton Towers
in Alton, Staffordshire. This minor overlap between the activities of
the parties does not raise competition concerns. There are no vertical
links between the parties. There is also no risk of any conglomerate
effects arising. Therefore the OFT does not believe that it is or may be
the case that the merger has resulted or may be expected to result in a
substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the
United Kingdom for goods or services.
This merger will therefore not be referred to the Competition Commission
under section 22(1) of the Act.
- The acquiring company is a subsidiary of
Dubai Holding, namely Tasmania Holdings Limited.