The Kristiansen family, of Denmark, began and has owned the Lego brand for decades, including the Legoland theme parks all around the world.
The Lego Group, owned by the Kristiansen family since 1932, sold their Legoland parks to Merlin Entertainments, a British entertainment company in 2005 to pay off debt.
In 2019, however, a few separate companies including Kirkbi which is owned by the Lego heirs bought Merlin Entertainment for $6.1 billion.
Disney and Lego are both companies that began as entirely family businesses. While Disney is not traded publicly, Lego is still owned by the same family who founded it.
Does Disney Own Legoland?
Disney does not own Legoland nor The Lego Group. The Kristiansen family of Denmark owns The Lego Group, along with Kirkbi, the holdings company that owns one-third of Merlin Entertainment, the company that owns Legoland. Co-owners of Merlin are Blackstone Group and CVC Capital Partners.
Who Owns Legoland?
Legoland is owned by Merlin Entertainment, a British entertainment company that bought the theme park chain in 2005 from The Lego Group.
In 2019, the Kristiansen family who founded and owns The Lego Group purchased Merlin Entertainment along with two other investors, buying back the Legoland theme parks with it.
The Kristiansen family opened the first Legoland theme park in Denmark in 1968 and only built four parks before selling to Merlin Entertainment.
Merlin Entertainment doubled the number of Legoland parks before being bought out and Legoland, still owned by Merlin (which is now owned partially by Kirkbi) now has ten parks with plans in motion for five more.
Does Disney Have A Relationship With Legoland?
Although Disney doesn’t own Legoland or The Lego Group, it has had a relationship with the company for a couple of decades.
Since 1999 Lego has been producing toys based on Disney’s brand lines and has been operating stores at Disney parks since 1997, a partnership that has brought mutual success for both parties.
This partnership allows Lego to expand into Disney territory, creating amazing selling toys like Pirates Of The Caribbean and Disney Princess Lego Sets.
Does Disney Own Any Shares Of Legoland?
Merlin Entertainment, which owns Legoland theme parks, has not been publicly traded since its acquisition by Kirkbi, Blackstone, and CVC Capital Partners in 2019.
As Merlin is not publicly traded, no one, not even Disney, holds shares in it. Disney did not own shares in the entertainment company before the acquisition either.
Kirkbi, the company name for the Kristiansen family holdings, as well as The Lego Group, has been handed down from father to son since The Lego Group started in 1932.
What Is The Connection Between Disney And Legoland?
Disney and Lego both have large stakes in the theme park industry. Disneyland opened in 1955 in California, while the first Legoland opened in Denmark in 1968.
While Legoland theme parks are more focused on younger kids and have waterparks, Disneyland has bigger rollercoasters and more focus on older audiences.
Aside from theme parks, Lego has been working with Disney since the turn of the millennium, producing the Winnie The Pooh Duplo sets.
Since then, Lego has made over 70 Disney-branded Lego sets. Some of the most popular are the Star Wars series and Steamboat Willie.
What Other Companies Does Disney Own?
Even though Disney does not own Legoland, it has one of the biggest stakes in the theme park industry in the world. Disney owns twelve different theme parks across six resorts.
- California Adventure
- The Magic Kingdom
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Animal Kingdom
- Disneyland Paris
- Hong Kong Disneyland
- Shanghai Disneyland
- Tokyo Disneyland
- Tokyo Disney Sea
Disney has the most popular theme parks and resorts in the world, followed by Merlin Entertainment who owns Legoland.
Does Disney Plan To Acquire Legoland?
Disney has no plans on acquiring Legoland. Even though The Walt Disney Company has been known for acquiring other large companies, in this case, there is no real incentive for Disney to do so.
Legoland is owned by three holdings and investment companies, including Kirkbi, which is owned by the heirs to Lego. It is not traded publicly, which would mean Disney would have to strike a deal with the trio of investors.
With Disney’s current theme parks being the biggest worldwide, Disney is not in a hurry to purchase more theme parks.
For the time being, Legoland and The Lego Group are in the hands of the Kristiansen family, carrying on the traditions their great grandfather passed on to them and the world.
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