David Merlini has turned down an offer of $18.6 million for his House of Houdini museum in Budapest and the rights to Houdini's name. The offer came from private investment fund CCV (Centurion Capital Ventures). David posted the news on The House of Houdini Facebook page, explaining in part:
"The House of Houdini presents a private collection that took over 20 years to build, and it is currently the largest of its kind in Europe. Despite the fact that all of our exhibits, assets and trademarks are in private hands, we feel important to provide a publicly available update.
As entering the agreement would have been resulted in the transfer of all usage, administrative and other rights to the new majority owner, there would have been no guarantee to keep the collection in Budapest long term. As this is a basic principle of our Statute, we have decided to withdraw from the deal.
The House of Houdini has opened its gate in 2016 in the Buda Castle in Budapest aiming to pose a tribute to world famous Budapest born escape artist Harry Houdini through his original artefacts. We aim to fulfill our mission of preserving the heritage of one of our most famed compatriot for future generations with the same passion and enthusiasm. "
The House of Houdini is currently closed due to a Covid spike in Hungary, but has plans to reopen next week.