Disneyland Paris has been thrown a lifeline.
The European theme park is struggling with diminished attendance and high debt, but Disney has announced a $1.25 billion bailout plan.
The recapitalization plan includes a cash infusion of $526 million by Disney and the conversion of $750 million of debt to equity.
Disneyland Paris has been a struggling theme park since it opened in 1992. Disney owns 40 percent of Disneyland Paris, while 10 percent is owned by Saudi Prince Alwaleed, and the rest is publicly held and traded on the Paris Euronext exchange.
There are reports circulating that Disney is intending to buy all the equity and take Disneyland Paris private.
The bailout also allows Disneyland Paris to defer payment on some loans until 2024.
In a statement released over the weekend Disney said: “This recapitalization plan would improve Euro Disney Group’s financial position and enable it to continue investing in the guest experience. With this effort, we are demonstrating the Walt Disney Co.’s continued confidence in Disneyland Paris, which remains the number-one tourist destination in Europe.”
In the past year Disneyland Paris has seen attendance of close to 14.2 million guests which is down nearly 800,000 from the same time in 2012-2013. Occupancy rates have dropped too – down to 75 percent from 79.3 percent in 2013.