Euro Disney shares surge on launch of capital hike

31st January 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 31 (AFP) - Shares in the Euro Disney theme park near here surged by 16.67 percent in initial trading on Monday, driven by the launch of a share rights issue in the last stage of financial restructuring, traders said. Euro Disney expects to raise EUR 253 million (USD 328 million).

PARIS, Jan 31 (AFP) - Shares in the Euro Disney theme park near here surged by 16.67 percent in initial trading on Monday, driven by the launch of a share rights issue in the last stage of financial restructuring, traders said. Euro Disney expects to raise EUR 253 million (USD 328 million).

The share was also helped by expectations that the parent Walt Disney Company will report firm results when it reports later in the day, they said.

The price of Euro Disney shares was showing a gain of 16.67 percent to EUR 0.14. The overall market as measured by the CAC 40 index had risen by 0.98 percent to 3,908.27 points.

Euro Disney has negotiated long and hard with creditors to overcome a financial crisis by renegotiating a refinancing with creditors. The share issue, involving preferential rights for existing shareholders at EUR 0.09 each, is set to last until February 8.

The Walt Disney Company has said it will subscribe for 1.11 billion shares and Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, an important shareholder, is to acquire 217.3 million shares.

Euro Disney said on January 21 that the issue was the last stage of restructuring.

The Walt Disney company was to publish result for the first quarter of 2004-2005 after the close of trading in New York on Monday.

Analysts expected it to report a decline in net profit but a strong performance by its cable television interests could produce higher than expected results.

Euro Disney, the financially stressed operator of a theme complex east of Paris, said Friday it had launched a capital hike of EUR 253.34 million (USD 329.14 million), the final stage in its financial restructuring.

On December 17, shareholders approved a capital increase of 98 percent to help pay down debt of EUR 2.4 billion.

The group announced on January 11 that sales had risen by three percent to EUR 268.9 million (USD 348 million) in the first quarter of its2004-2005 fiscal year.

The company says that the capital increase is designed to provide liquidity, protection from business volatility and capital to maintain the existing asset base and add new attractions.

In the fiscal year 2006, Euro Disney plans to open an interactive attraction at its Disneyland park called Buzz Lightyear's Laser Blast, which depicts a struggle to defend the universe against an evil emperor.

The next fiscal year should see the opening of Toon Studios at the Walt Disney Studios Park followed by the arrival in 2008 at the same venue of Tower of Terror, described by Euro Disney as "a white-knuckle journey into a mysterious new dimension."

© AFP

Subject: French News

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