Euro Disney capital increase oversubscribed

18th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 18 (AFP) - Theme park operator Euro Disney, owner of the troubled attraction east of Paris, said Friday that oversubscription of its share issue was evidence of optimism for the future of the group.

PARIS, Feb 18 (AFP) - Theme park operator Euro Disney, owner of the troubled attraction east of Paris, said Friday that oversubscription of its share issue was evidence of optimism for the future of the group.

The debt-ridden company, which has had to restructure its finances twice since being launched in the early 1990s, said its EUR 253.3 million (USD 331million) capital increase had been nine-percent oversubscribed.

The appetite for the new shares "demonstrates investors' confidence in the future of the group", the company said.

Euro Disney shares rose by 7.69 percent to EUR 0.14 in early trading on an overall Paris market that was up 0.03 percent at 4,006.21.

The plan to issue 2.8 billion new shares at EUR 0.09 per share to raise crisis cash was approved by shareholders at the company's annual general meeting in December.

The Walt Disney Company, which owns 39 percent of the group, agreed to underwrite 1.11 billion of the new shares, and Saudi Prince Al Walid was to take 217.3 million shares.

The company had been struggling to service its EUR 2.4 billion debt burden for more than a year, and agreed a new deal with its creditors amid concern that the group might have been declared insolvent.

The cash raised from the share issue will allow the company to continue trading and will also be used to develop the Disneyland Resort in Marne-la-vallee, near Paris, in a bid to reverse declining visitor numbers.

"We look forward to an exciting future as we begin an unprecedented, multi-year expansion of our resort offering," Andre Lacroix, Euro Disney chairman, said in a statement.

"In April, we will witness the launch of Space Mountain: Mission 2, followed by our Summer Magic Celebration honoring the 50th Anniversary of The Disneyland Resort in California.

"Each of the years 2006, 2007 and 2008 will bring even more rides and attractions to our resort," he said.

The company has warned, however, that it will record losses for at least the next couple of years.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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