BREAKING: Disney Is Trying To Buy Out Disneyland Paris

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The Walt Disney Company said today that it is offering to buy any outstanding shares of Euro Disney S.C.A., the company that operates the Disneyland Paris resort.  Disney is offering 2 euros per share, which is a 67% premium to yesterday’s closing price.

Disneyland Paris has been financially troubled for most of its existence, after its rosy visitor predictions didn’t pan out.  A number of financial maneuvers to reorganize it debt has left The Walt Disney Company with an ownership stake of 76.7% of Euro Disney S.C.A. Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal owns 10% of the shares, which leaves 13.3% of the company owned by the public at large.  The Walt Disney Company today announced that is has entered into a share swap agreement with Alwaleed to take 90% of his shares (9% of Euro Disney S.C.A.) in exchange for Disney stock.  Now that The Walt Disney Company owns 85.7% of Euro Disney S.C.A, it wants to buy the rest in order to take full control of Disneyland Paris. According to EU finance laws, once Disney owns 95% of the shares, it can delist them from Euronext Paris stock exchange, effectively giving it full control of the company.

The new plan “affords maximum flexibility to shareholders, addresses the group’s financial needs and reflects its ongoing support for the long-term success of Disneyland Paris,” Disney said. To this end, Disney said it will support Euro Disney’s recapitalization to the tune of 1.5 billion euros. This follows a 2014 rescue plan in which Disney committed to at least 1 billion euros over 10 years.

Disneyland Paris racked up a net loss of 858 million euros (over $900 million) in 2016 after the terrorist attacks in Paris in late 2015 led to a downturn in the tourism industry across France.  Additionally, the European economy hasn’t been been kind to businesses across the continent.  In 2015, the company recorded a net loss of 102 million euros.  The financial saga of Euro Disney is frequently discussed in most writings about the resort, including the recently released “Building Magic – Disney’s Overseas Theme Parks” and the earlier “Once Upon an American Dream: The Story of Euro Disneyland“.

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About the author

Jason Diffendal

Jason has been a lifelong fan of the Disney parks since his first visit at age 2. His biennial pilgrimages during his childhood accelerated into semi-annual visits by the year 2000, when he also Joined the Disney Vacation Club. Luckily, Jason’s bride-to-be was also a Disney fan, which allowed his infatuation with the Disney parks to continue, and ultimately culminated in their wedding at Disney’s Wedding Pavilion in September 2003. Early in 2007, Jason began his involvement with the planning for what became Celebration 25, the unofficial fan gathering to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Epcot®. Soon thereafter, Jason met Tom Corless at a pin trading meet in New Jersey, and became part of the WDW News Today podcast starting with Episode 17. Jason has been involved with the WDWNT Network ever since, and can’t seem to escape no matter how hard he tries.

23 Comments

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  • i mean that sounds great, but it sounds like they would be investing more money into the overseas parks and say ignoring Epcot…AGAIN.

    • What are they supposed to be doing to Epcot? It’s not like it needs a massive overhaul, just a little updating here and there. Realistically Disney has enough money to do both if they wanted to.

  • Shut it down and spend money on DL and WDW. New parks overseas are getting all the attention while state side parks are in need of rehab.

    • People like you frustrate me, You can’t see pass the idea that only the “american parks” are worth spending money on.
      The overseas parks are just as important, especially when Tokyo Disney Sea is considered one the best theme parks in the world. Shanghai is open and has some of the most advanced Disney rides ever created. Paris is a beautifully crafted version of the magic kingdom with touches of originality such as Discoveryland instead of Tomorrowland. Hong Kong is also a terrific disney resort.

      When people like you complain of their investment it just reeks of bitterness and jealousy. Disney will always put DL and WDW top in their priorities.

      My god, just recently CA got it’s multi billion dollar revamp, world of color, new fantasyland in magic kingdom, avatar land in animal kingdom, STAR WARS LANDS in BOTH DL AND DS including toy story land as well.

      Don’t act like disney doesn’t invest in these parks.

  • Euro Disney should have been in somewhere warm like Spain or Portugal. The weather (and the french attitude) wasn’t right for the park.

    • I AGREE! I live in Marbella, southern Spain, and it should have been built here where we have an avarage of 300 days of sunshine a year. Instead they build it in cold France where everyone is grumpy! Been there twice! Been to Disney Orlando 10 times.

  • The few times I’ve been to DL: Paris has been fun. I’ve enjoyed a lot of the the more unique rides there. I do hope to see improvement there and obviously hope to see major improvement to WDW and DL.

  • Shut it down and move attractions to a new park in Brazil! This will solve the overcrowding problem in WDW Florida!!! PLEASE consider

  • The amount of people here calling it to be shut down is ridiculous. All parks offer unique experiences – and not everyone can afford to go to the State side parks.

  • Disney needs to either just tear it down or sell it off entirely and admit they made a mistake building it in the first place. Oh and stop building new parks entirely.

  • I’ve been to both WDW and DLP. Disney Paris is far better than the Florida park. Disney Florida was such a let down for us, dowdy and underwhelming. Disney Paris was wonderful, better rides and magical. Please keep it going.

  • Ugh, to all the people saying it should be torn down, no they shouldn’t tear it down. It would be nice if they left it open so that Europeans have a more cost effective option, rather than flooding the US parks with even more visitors. Just because Disney is spending money on Disneyland Paris doesn’t mean they don’t have money for the US parks. Disney isn’t poor, they net billions in profit a year. They’re more than just theme parks, and just because they spend money on one park doesn’t mean they can’t afford to invest more in other parks. I don’t even know why I have to say this considering the huge expansion Hollywood Studios is getting and The World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom.

    • You clearly don’t know the story of Disneyland Paris and how many projects were canceled in Orlando because of it. Call Michael Eisner and ask him. I bet he’ll be thrilled to tell you.

      • disneypete projects are cancelled constantly for a number of reasons financing included. shanghai went over budget, which would’ve took money from other resorts as well, going to complain about that too?

        The fact is people need to stop looking at DLP as the black sheep they want to get rid of just because of their financial issues.
        In fact a lot of DLP issues were caused by disney themselves. Over ambitious visitor numbers, building over SIX hotels for a one park resort when no more than two-three would’ve been needed. Eisner’s unsurprisingly has always been quiet around this subject when you think he’s partly responsible.

        Don’t be quick to brush DLP out of the Disney family when not long ago California Adventure wasn’t much better and look what a difference Disney investing in it makes.

  • All those salty Americans asking to shut it down, lol. It’s never going to happen and considering that, buying it out to finally fix it is the best option long-term.

  • The park shouldn’t be shut down. Buying it out entirely will allow Disney full control to fix it. Unless you think WDW and DLR can accommodate 13 million more people a year? I adore DLP. It’s “my” park. I’m glad Disney finally realise that the park will work without the crippling debt, and are now working to pay it off.