Disney to inject another $350m into expansion

Top News | Amy Nip 29 Mar 2017

The Walt Disney Company has promised to increase its injection into Hong Kong Disneyland's expansion, giving it better leverage when asking lawmakers to approve government funding.

The US entertainment giant promised to inject an additional HK$330 million for the park's expansion, taking its total contribution to HK$5.45 billion - the same amount to be committed by the government once lawmakers give the project the green light.

Beside the financial proposal, Disney will offer 50,000 complimentary tickets to locals through lucky draws in the coming months.

In a proposal to the Legislative Council in November 2016, Disney and the government proposed to share the project cost of HK$10.9 billion according to the existing shareholding ratio of 53 percent by the government and 47 percent by Disney. That would mean HK$5.12 billion by Disney and HK$5.78 billion by the government.

A document sent to lawmakers yesterday showed a revised plan in which Disney and the government would fund the project on an equal basis, or HK$5.45 billion each.

The money would be injected into Hongkong International Theme Parks Ltd - the joint venture company that owns Hong Kong Disneyland - to support the expansion plan at the Phase 1 site of the theme park.

After completion of the capital injection, the government would hold 52 percent of the company's shares and Disney 48 percent.

Disney is believed to have agreed to the new plan to "shoulder more responsibility" as it wants to push through the expansion project as adding attractions would boost attendance.

The plan aims to fund the launch of at least one new attraction almost every year from 2018 to 2023, which would increase the number of themed areas from seven to nine.

In the financial year October 2015 to September 2016, Hong Kong Disneyland suffered a loss of HK$171 million, its second year in the red.

The funding proposal will be discussed in Legco Financial Committee on Friday.

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