Monday, October 6, 2014

Euro Disney Bailed out by Walt Disney Co. + New Rides on the Horizon?

© Disneyland Paris
Euro Disney, the company that runs the Disneyland Paris Resort, has been financial bailed out by the Walt Disney Company once again.

Struggling to keep guests coming through the gates (last year saw around 800,000 decrease in attendance) and perpetual losses, the resort certainly needs a punch in the arm.  That punch will come in the form of a $1.25 billion financial reorganization that will see some of the property's debt converted into stock (thus diluting its current value) along with almost $500 million in cash.  The backing of Walt Disney Company, who Euro Disney technically owes all their debt to, is making the refinancing possible.

The Walt Disney Company currently owns 40% of the resort, but that number will probably change after the refinance, and really this refinance is basically a smart way to go bankrupt and lessen their debts.  The hope is that the reduced debt (with repayment forgiven for many years by Disney Co.) along with the cash infusion will allow the parks and resorts to get back into shape.

Does that mean new attractions?  Well... maybe eventually, but it sounds like not too soon.  The problem is that it will also take a great deal of cash to get the parks back to what they once were - there are plenty of stories out there of the parks being neglected to save money.  That means that a lot must be spent just to refurbish the parks - especially with Disneyland Paris' 25th anniversary just around the corner in '17.  This story has good details on the current state of the parks.

Hopefully this plan is the one that really turns the resort around, creating a meaningful future for fans to look forward to.