Cadbury World in Bournville taken over by Alton Towers owner Merlin

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A historic deal has been agreed for the takeover of Cadbury World in Birmingham

Alton Towers owner Merlin has agreed a 50-year-deal to take over control at Cadbury World in Bournville.

Merlin Entertainments, Europe’s biggest theme park firm, has confirmed a deal to buy the operations and brand licences from Mondelez International, the historic chocolate brand’s owner.

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Cadbury will celebrate its 200th anniversary in 2024, and the new deal will bring Cadbury World, into Merlin’s large roster of UK attractions which also includes Madame Tussauds, Legoland and Sea Life.

The entrance to Cadbury World in Bournville, Birmingham (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)The entrance to Cadbury World in Bournville, Birmingham (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
The entrance to Cadbury World in Bournville, Birmingham (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Cadbury World was opened at the chocolate maker’s Bournville factory site in 1990 at the cost of around £6 million.

The site is now visited by more than 600,000 people each year, making it one of the West Midlands’ most popular attractions.

In 2010, the site was acquired as part of Kraft’s controversial takeover of Cadbury before the US behemoth was forced to spin-off its European snacking arm as Mondelez.

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Cadbury World in Birmingham (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)Cadbury World in Birmingham (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Cadbury World in Birmingham (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

What’s been said about the takeover?

Louise Stigant, UK managing director at Mondelez International, said: “Cadbury World is a truly unique experience and since it first opened its doors in 1990, has been enjoyed by millions of families from across the UK and overseas.

“We want to build on the strong foundations we’ve laid so that people can continue to enjoy Cadbury World for generations to come.

“As we approach Cadbury’s 200th anniversary, I’m really excited by this partnership.

“By working with Merlin Entertainments, we will be able to bring the history and heritage of the Cadbury brand and the joy of chocolate to more and more people.”

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Merlin’s chief development officer Mark Fisher said: “As one of the world leaders in location-based entertainment we are delighted that Cadbury World is joining the already strong global network of Merlin attractions.

“We have long admired Cadbury as the nation’s favourite chocolate brand and have already successfully worked together across a range of experiential activities and retail spaces in our UK theme parks.

“We are now excited to continue the relationship and bring to life the sights, smells and fun experiences that chocolate lovers have come to know and love, but just with the additional helping of some Merlin magic.”

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