Merlin Entertainments was today valued at £3.1 billion in its initial public offering.

The offer price for the float of the UK theme parks company was set at 315p per share.

Total proceeds raised by the company will be about £957 million.

Company chief executive Nick Varney said: “We are delighted with the strong response from both institutions and retail shareholders to our offer.

“We have long stated our belief that becoming a public company was Merlin’s ultimate destiny, providing the right long-term ownership to enable the next stage of development.

“We look forward to continuing to deliver on our proven growth strategy as we further expand our unique portfolio of iconic international brands.”