Fox and Disney have said that a lawsuit against them is “without merit”, while Hong Leong IB Research (HLIB Research) has suggested the Genting theme park could go ahead without Fox.
Genting Malaysia Berhad filed a complaint against Fox after the developer spent $750 million on Twentieth Century Fox World theme park, about which Fox (and soon to be owners Disney) are allegedly suffering “seller’s remorse”.
Genting signed a licensing deal with Fox in 2013 that would leverage Fox intellectual property including Ice Age and Planet of the Apes. Genting has accused Fox and Disney of attempting to pull out of the project.
HLIB predicts theme park will proceed
However, all is not lost, reports MSN. Though HLIB Research says Fox’s decision to pull out will deter potential growth, the research house said the impact is less severe than the hike in gaming tax.
Non-gaming revenue (from Resorts World Genting) accounts for only 10% to 15% of GenM’s and 4% to 8% of Genting Bhd’s total revenue.
HLIP Research believes the theme park development could still proceed, possibly under a different brand.
They note that Disney is only the licensor, while GenM is the asset holder.
A worst case scenario, the research house said, is a rebranding exercise which would incur additional capex on the redesigning of themes and rides.
Suit “without merit” says Fox
Fox said that the suit is “without merit.”
“This lawsuit is entirely without merit,” Fox said. “As the Complaint itself makes clear, Genting has been failing to meet the agreed-on deadlines for several years, long before the 21CF-Disney agreement. The allegation that Disney, rather than Fox, finally decided to declare a default is simply made up. We look forward to presenting all the facts in the appropriate forum.”
Disney is on the same page about it, saying, “The claims made against Disney in this matter are utterly without merit.”