Friday, August 24, 2012
If this is confirmed it might be the big news that all DLP fans are waiting for: According to TIME magazine the Walt Disney Company is considering a possible buyout of Disneyland Paris. Currently the WDC owns "only" 40% of Euro Disney, and among "the remaining shares 10% is owned by Saudi Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, and the rest is held by individual and institutional investors". Sources close to the WDC told TIME that "serious discussions have been taking place internally about buying out the stock it doesn’t currently own".
Always according to TIME "Acquiring the entire French company would be the first step in a comprehensive turnaround strategy that would enable Disney to benefit far more substantially from the popular success of the park". "Disney said in a statement that “we’re encouraged by the resort’s continued financial resilience and remain deeply committed to the future growth and long-term success of this invaluable asset to the Walt Disney Co.” ...but didn’t made any official comment on the buyout possibility "which TIME’s sources say have been under discussion for some time. Based on Euro Disney’s stock price, which has long been depressed, the market value of the 23.4 million shares of the French company that Disney doesn’t own is about $120 million. However, Disney would certainly have to pay a premium over the market price".
TIME note that "It’s not certain that Disney will decide to make a bid for the company, but the timing for such a move is favorable, since Disneyland Paris is currently on track to pay down about 500 million euros in debt over the next six years, or about one quarter of the remainder. This would put it on a more sustainable path to profitability. Thanks to management’s tight financial controls and higher spending per visitor, the resort is now finally making an operating profit and its cash flow is healthier".
And what does all this means for DLP fans? Well, it means that "a buyout would be followed by increased investment in the resort aimed at paying down the debt more quickly and increasing the number of attractions".
I've been saying since a long time that DLP needed a "Marshall plan" and may be it's finally coming now, although in a different way than i had expected. If the WDC really do this buyout it might resolve not only DLP debt problem but also, as they will be totally in charge of DLP parks just like they are at Disneyland Anaheim or WDW, that they will try to resolve DLP problem for once and for all and the example of California Adventure just prove recently that when they want to do it, they can do it, so you can expect new attractions for sure.
Let's cross our fingers that the news will be confirmed, but considering that it's coming from TIME, a reliable magazine, and that "there is never smoke without fire" this one might be the one you were all waiting for.
Text excerpts coming from TIME full article HERE