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.