Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Merlin Entertainments announces acquisition of Seoul’s COEX Aquarium

Merlin Entertainments announces acquisition of Seoul’s COEX Aquarium
May 4, 2022

Merlin Entertainments has completed the acquisition of one of the largest aquariums in Korea, The COEX Aquarium in the Gangnam district of the capital of Seoul.

Home to more than 180 immersive marine exhibits, showcasing the incredible diversity of aquatic life: from mountain springs to the Amazonian rainforest, the acquisition complements Merlin’s already existing expertise in running SEA LIFE aquariums that educate current and future generations to care for the world’s waters and global marine wildlife.

Expanding Merlin’s offerings in Korea, which includre LEGOLAND® Korea Resort and SEA LIFE Busan, the company explain that “the acquisition of The COEX Aquarium supports Merlin’s wider strategy to establish ‘midway’ indoor attractions in key gateway cities, with the aquarium being Merlin’s first attraction in the busy city of Seoul.”

The announcement builds on a strong year of new business developments for the company and marks the third business to join Merlin since the beginning of the year.

YP Kim, General Manager and Director for Merlin’s Midway APAC Division, Merlin Entertainments, who will be based in Seoul to oversee the day to day management of COEX, commented “The COEX Aquarium is extremely well regarded in Korea and we are delighted to be welcoming The COEX team into the wider Merlin family.

“The expertise and the knowledge of the COEX team is outstanding and we look forward to investing and growing the business with them in partnership.”

Rob Smith, Merlin's Divisional Director for APAC, added "as such an iconic and well-loved aquarium, we are excited to have the opportunity to work together with The COEX team. At Merlin, we are committed to protecting and conserving marine life and underwater environments and we are delighted that The COEX team are bringing their experience to the Merlin family. This is a very exciting addition to our APAC Midway attractions and highlights our overall investment in Korea, as well as our wider APAC Midway strategy which will be bolstered by The COEX Aquarium coming into our attraction portfolio.”

Opened in 2000, The Coex Aquarium was, like other Korean attractions, hit hard by the pandemic.

Images of The Coex Aquarium courtesy of Merlin Entertainments.

Related Articles

11th April 2022 - Lotte World Busan theme park cost less to design and build than a single large attraction at Disney or Universal Studios

5th April 2022 - South Korean technology company Kakao to build new Seoul arena

4th April 2022 - Korea’s Lotte Corporation opens new theme park in southern city of Busan

1st April 2022 - Legoland Korea set for 5th May opening

2nd March 2022 - Merlin Entertainments celebrate return of international guests to their Australian attractions

11th January 2022 - accesso renews global partnership with Merlin Entertainments

13th December 2021 - Seoul promotes itself as an accessible tourism city

29th September 2021 - Merlin Entertainments ‘confident’ about future despite US$878 million loss in 2020

24th September 2021 - Global attraction attendance report shows industry resilience in 2020 and the beginnings of recovery

14th July 2021 - SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium marks Shark Awareness Day by debunking some major myths

10th August 2020 - SEA LIFE Trust confirms safe transition of Beluga whales into Iceland sanctuary

10th January 2020 - Merlin Entertainments and Silvergate Media to launch biggest Octonauts attraction at SEA LIFE Shanghai

30th September 2019 - Merlin Entertainments announce plans for LEGOLAND Resort in Western China

28th June 2019 - Lego owners lead £5 billion acquisition of Merlin Entertainments

16th May 2019 - Merlin Entertainments signs up to global disability campaign

17th October 2018 - New brands and resort theme parks drive Merlin Entertainments growth

29th June 2018 - Merlin Entertainments announces creation of SEA LIFE Trust Beluga Whale Sanctuary

15th March 2018 - Merlin Entertainments reveals plans to develop LEGOLAND Discovery Centre in Beijing

22nd February 2018 - Massive new Sea Life Nagoya to open next to Legoland Japan

5th February 2018 - Legoland Malaysia to expand with new Sea Life Aquarium

17th October 2014 - Merlin Entertainment reveals plans for Legoland Dubai

28th December 2013 - Merlin Entertainments to open Madame Tussauds attraction on Singapore’s Sentosa Island

18th June 2013 - Merlin Entertainments to list on London stock market

1st July 2011 - Merlin Entertainments looks to protect global brands