Euro Disney plans €250m rights issue to reduce debt

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The Independent Online

Euro Disney, the highly indebted operator of the Disneyland resort outside Paris, is planning to invest €240m (£170m) in new attractions over the next three years, including new rides such as Buzz Lightyear's Laser Blast and the Tower of Terror.

Euro Disney, the highly indebted operator of the Disneyland resort outside Paris, is planning to invest €240m (£170m) in new attractions over the next three years, including new rides such as Buzz Lightyear's Laser Blast and the Tower of Terror.

Euro Disney is planning a €250m rights issue as part of a financial restructuring to try to pay down some of its €2bn of debt.

Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, the Saudi billionaire and nephew of King Fahd, is to invest up to €25m to maintain his 10 per cent stake in the group.

The prince is the second largest shareholder in Euro Disney behind the Walt Disney company itself, which is investing up to €100m in the rights issue, the latest refinancing the Paris leisure complex has undertaken. The prince's investment will be made through his Kingdom trust investment vehicle. Prince Alwaleed, estimated to be worth $21.5bn (£11.5bn), also has large investments in businesses such as Citigroup.

Euro Disney has been beset by problems since its inception but yesterday it issued an upbeat first-quarter statement in which it reported revenues of €268.9m for the three months to 31 December versus €262.2m in 2003. But the figures were boosted by €5.4m of property sales from its real estate division.

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