Dubai park operator IMG restructuring $326m loan and upsizing loan facility

Ilyas & Mustafa Galadari Group (IMG), the owner and operator of the world’s largest indoor theme park, IMG Worlds of Adventure in Dubai, is attempting to restructure its 1.2bn dirham ($326m) syndicated loan.

IMG told Reuters that it also wants to upsize its existing loan facility. Talks between the company and banks have been ongoing for several weeks.

The need to upsize its loan facility is not linked to low visitor numbers, IMG said in a statement. Instead the company puts it down to a cost overrun on the “pre-opening” of IMG Worlds of Adventure in Dubai. However, according to Reuters, bankers said that it was at least partially linked to low attendance.

Dubai Parks and Resorts, a rival development operated by DXB Entertainments, received 2.3 million visitors in 2017, well below its target of 6.7 million. DXB Entertainments has also been experiencing significant losses, securing a $66.7m loan facility from its majority shareholder, Meraas, in September 2017 to cover a $67.2m operational loss in the first six months of the year.

Despite the struggles of IMG Worlds of Adventure, the company is planning to open an even bigger park nearby. IMG Worlds of Legends will cover 18.5-hectares spread over nine zones and will include interactive rides, roller coasters, live entertainment and water-based attractions.

IMG Worlds of Adventure CEO Lennard Otto spoke to Blooloop last September about the park’s first year in operation and the company’s planned second park.

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