Saudi Billionaire Join Euro Disney Bailout

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Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal will join a financial bailout of the money-losing Euro Disney theme park, his Kingdom Holding Co says.

“Yes, we are confirming the story. At this moment, there is nothing more to add,” a company official told AFP in Riyadh on Tuesday.

Britain’s The Mail on Sunday newspaper quoted Alwaleed as saying “we will fully subscribe” to a rights issue, maintaining a 10 per cent stake in the theme park.

Disneyland Paris, on the outskirts of the French capital, has drawn more than 275 million visitors since it opened in 1992, making it Europe’s top private tourist attraction.

But it has always struggled to turn a profit and predicts a loss of between 110 million and 120 million euros ($A164.99 and $A179.99 million), sharply worse than a 78-million-euro loss in the previous period.

Last week, it announced a refinancing package that includes a cash infusion of 420 million euros and a conversion into equity of 600 million euros of debt owed to Disney.

Euro Disney has a debt of about 1.7 billion euros.

Tom Wolber, president of Euro Disney, blamed the difficult European economic environment for the amusement firm’s problems.

Visitor numbers have haemorrhaged in the past two years.


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