Los Angeles Business Journal

Disney to Refinance Joint-Venture Theme Park in Paris

By Deborah Crowe Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Walt Disney Co. on Tuesday announced that it will provide the equivalent of $1.73 billion to restructure debt at the Disneyland Paris resort, but quashed rumors that it plans to buy out the other shareholders in the European joint venture.

The Burbank entertainment giant said in a statement that the restructuring will enable the financially struggling Euro Disney SCA Group to benefit from lower interest rates and greater operational flexibility because certain restrictive debt covenants will be eliminated. Disney has a nearly 40 percent stake in Euro Disney.

"With this transaction, the Walt Disney Co. reaffirms its continued confidence in Disneyland Paris -- the number one tourist destination in Europe and an important ambassador of the Disney brand,” Disney said.

Euro Disney Chief Executive Philippe Gas said in a separate conference call with journalists that Disney was not planning to take over the park entirely, Reuters said.

Disney shares closed down 25 cents, or less than 1 percent, to $51.90 on the New York Stock Exchange.