View from City Road: Mickey Mouse becomes vulnerable
Friday 15 October 1993
Answer - a bid for Disney. Traditionally regarded as unassailable, the company may have constructed its own Trojan horse, in the shape of its disastrous Paris theme park.
Debt-laden Euro Disney is not, of course, about to bring down its quasi-parent. The loans are ring- fenced and the US group is strong enough to take its share of the pain without suffering too much.
But given that there seems to be no end to the tale of woe coming out of France, it could weaken Disney enough to put it in play. Euro Disney is turning out to be an increasingly poor investment and an even poorer advertisment for the judgement of the Disney board.
It is also one that is set to get worse before it gets better; to secure the building of the second stage of the park, without which it is unlikely ever to make money, the American group is going to have to chip in heavily.
Yet one of Disney's biggest headaches is that it cannot afford to raise its stake, since once it reaches 51 per cent US accounting rules say that all the debt - Fr23bn ( pounds 2.7bn) - would have to arrive on its parent balance sheet. And even Disney might wince at that.
As yet, US investors in Disney have still to wake up to the extent of the European mess, and how badly the company's original intentions have gone astray. But once they do, the power brokers scouring Wall Street's entertainment sector in the wake of the Bell Atlantic/TCI mega-merger may find a new target.
International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
Feminist quotes to inspire you on the International Women's Day
Belle Knox: How the porn star student from Duke University became bigger than Justin Bieber
International Women's Day 2014: Mothers and daughters describe their hopes and dreams in touching photographs
Liam Neeson on death of wife Natasha Richardson: ‘When I hear the door opening, I still think I’m going to hear her’
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
- 2 Too upsetting? Academy members voted for Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave 'without watching it'
- 3 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 4 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role to marry Natasha Richardson
- 5 Livr: A social network only for drunk people
iJobs Money & Business
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: The company works with Tier 1 FTSE 100 Ba...
£32000 - £36000 per annum + generous benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: * TAX * ...
£37000 - £40000 per annum + £20000 benefits package: Pro-Recruitment Group: **...
£30000 - £35000 per annum + generous benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Mixed Ta...