Genting Malaysia: Fox counter claim but theme park to go ahead

Fox have made a counter claim against Genting Malaysia Bhd, but analysts believe that this will not prevent Genting from opening a theme park at Resorts World in Malaysia. In other news, a settlement has been reached with Wynn Resorts over the RW design.

Genting Malaysia Bhd has said that it has received a reply from Fox as well as a counter claim for US$46.4 millions in an ongoing case surrounding the formerly Fox-branded theme park at Genting’s Resorts World in Malaysia.

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.

The company filed a complaint against Fox after spending $750 million developing the Twentieth Century Fox World theme park, about which Fox (and soon to be owners Disney) are allegedly suffering “seller’s remorse”.

Fox said the suit was “without merit” and now, according to a filing by Genting: “Fox filed a counter claim against Genting Malaysia alleging breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing”.

The counter claim filing says that Fox is claiming “a monetary sum of approximately US$46.4 million … in respect of annual licence fees, guarantee amounts/royalties and travel reimbursements.”

As reported in GGRAsia, Samuel Yin Shao Yang, an analyst at Maybank IB Research said: “Fox’s US$46.4 million claim is not new and accounts for fewer than 1 percent of Genting Malaysia’s market capitalisation.”

He added, “…what piqued our interest is that neither Fox nor Disney sought an injunction to preclude Genting Malaysia from opening the OTP as we had earlier feared.

“This implies that Genting Malaysia may be able to proceed to either operate the OTP by itself or partner other studios.”

Genting say the theme park is still planned to open. The opening date is still to be confirmed but Maybank IB Research speculated that could be in the first quarter of 2020, and attract 2 million visitors in FY20.

Wynn Resorts settlement

Meanwhile, another legal dispute involving Wynn Resorts looks like it has come to a settlement.

Wynn Resorts accused Genting of copying its appearance after the Malaysian operator revealed plans to develop its $4bn property, Resorts World Las Vegas.

Wynn Resorts CCO Michael Weaver said: “Resorts World Las Vegas’ initial design had elements which had similarity to our resorts in Las Vegas, Macau and Boston.

“The new design changes offered by Genting will resolve the concerns we expressed about the similarity of the design.”

There are reports that Wynn Resorts and Genting Group have now agreed a settlement.

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