Madame Tussauds owner hit with winding up petition in dispute over debt

The owner of Madame Tussauds has been hit with a winding up petition by Experian as the leisure operator seeks to bounce back from the upheaval of pandemic lockdowns. Merlin Entertainments – which also runs Alton Towers, Warwick Castle and Legoland Windsor – is facing the threat of legal proceedings from Experian, a FTSE 100 listed data company, amid a dispute over a debt. A spokesman for Merlin branded Experian's actions "wholly inappropriate" and said the company will apply to have the petition thrown out. The spokesman said: “Experian’s claim, regarding a very small debt, is completely disputed, and as such a winding up petition for our subsidiary is wholly inappropriate. We will be applying to set the petition aside. "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." It is understood Merlin has been in talks with Experian over the debt. Experian declined to comment. The petition has been served on Merlin Attractions Operations Limited after the group suffered a spate of senior resignations earlier in the year. Nick Varney, who was Merlin's chief executive for more than two decades, resigned...

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