Swiss group misses deadline on Disney bid

5th December 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Dec 5, 2006 (AFP) - Center-Tainment, a Swiss-registered company that said last week it planned to bid for Euro Disney, has failed to meet regulatory requirements to make a takeover offer, stock market regulator AMF announced on Tuesday.

PARIS, Dec 5, 2006 (AFP) - Center-Tainment, a Swiss-registered company that said last week it planned to bid for Euro Disney, has failed to meet regulatory requirements to make a takeover offer, stock market regulator AMF announced on Tuesday.

The AMF had given Center-Tainment a deadline of late Monday to formalise its takeover offer and the regulator said Tuesday it had not received any details of the bid.

Under AMF rules, Center-Tainment will have to wait at least six months if it plans to make another approach under rules which specify a mandatory cooling off period.

"AMF takes note of the absence of a submission by Center-Tainment of a takeover offer targeted at Euro Disney shares," the regulator said.

Ulf Werner, chairman of Center-Tainment, had said at a news conference in Paris last Thursday that the group would notify the AMF of its bid in the coming days.

Center-Tainment said it planned to bid for Euro Disney's free floating stock, the equivalent of 50.01 percent of the company, and offered a share swap deal valuing each Euro Disney share at EUR 0.11.

It remained vague about its financial backers and the details about how it intended to revive the debt-laden Disney franchise, leading some analysts to question the plausibility of the approach.

Euro Disney is 39.8 percent owned by US group Walt Disney and 10-percent owned by Saudi Arabian Prince al-Walid.

The theme park claims to be Europe's most popular tourist attraction with 12.8 million visitors in its year to September, but it remains loss-making and still has EUR 1.9 billion in debt.

It has been forced to restructure its finances twice since being launched in the early 1990s and as recently as last February was facing insolvency.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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