City: Mickey-taking - Business - News - The Independent

City: Mickey-taking

Dear Mickey Mouse,

Daddy came home awfully upset last night, and he says it's all your fault. He shouted something about 'that damn Euro Disney' and then he went to the pub and I haven't seen him since. Mummy says things are so bad in that dreadful place we stayed in near Paris last summer that he's going to have to sell the house. He had a lot of shares in it, you see, and he thinks it's all gone wrong because you've been too greedy, put it in the wrong place and spent too much on it.

You told him the British and Germans would come flocking in their millions, but they seem to have taken one look at it and thought: 'We're not going to pay a lot of money to sit in a rain-sodden field east of Paris and be insulted by frogs.' Who can blame them?

Then there's your American daddy, Walt Disney. I know he's a good businessman, but it's really him who's to blame, isn't it? Mummy says he conned people like my daddy and a lot of silly French bankers into putting up nearly all the money. Mr Disney's own investment was tiny by comparison but for that he gets nearly half the shares, 6 per cent of all revenues, 10 per cent of admissions and 5 per cent of food, drink and merchandise sales.

My friend in the City says there's no possibility of a rescue rights issue. This is because a) nobody wants to throw good money after bad and b) even if they did, the shares are so low now that not nearly enough could be raised to do the trick. Nor are the banks going to agree to the necessary refinancing, not unless Mr Disney agrees to give up a lot of his royalty rights.

The only option really is for your daddy, Mr Disney, to come to the rescue, otherwise the story will have an unhappy ending. My friend in the City says Mr Disney is one of the richest men in America, and I can't believe he would let Euro Disney go to the wall. Please make my daddy happy again, otherwise we won't watch your films any more.

Love Florence (aged two and a half).

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