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EuroDisney’s Strategy to 2030: Doubling Capacity and Eco Tourism

Opinion

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Specific objectives to 2030:

1)Double theme park and hotel capacity:

  • Perimeter extension from 1, 943 to 2, 230 hectares to allow for a potential third park (following the acquisition of Marvel by Disney, a superheroes theme is a strong contender)
  • 8, 200 existing hotel rooms to increase to 22, 900

2)Enhance Val d’Europe with an additional:

  • 9, 000 housing unit rights (30 to 40% allocated to rental properties, and a range of prices (25% social housing and 15% controlled price access housing))
  • 70, 000 sq m retail entitlements

3)Development of Eco Tourism project:

  • Les Villages Nature de Val d’Europe to be implemented in successive phases, the first targeted to open in 2015
  • Up to 7, 200 units and 70, 0000 sq m facilities
  • 50/50 joint venture between EuroDisney and Pierre & Vacances
  • Preconstruction sale of tourism units to private investors as well as pre-construction sale of recreational facilities and infrastructures to institutional investors, rented back to the operating company
  • Sustainable action plan based on the 10 key indicators from the “One Planet Living“ methodology including zero carbon and zero waste

4)Major improvements by the Public Parties in roadway access and public transportation networks to support the strategy

The Main Agreement, signed in 1987, created a Project of National Interest to develop a leading European tourist destination and an economic hub east of Paris.  To date, despite a disappointing financial performance, the Project has delivered just that:

  • Disneyland Paris is Europe’s #1 tourist destination (215 million visits from ’92 to ’09)
  • Val d’Europe is now a major economic hub with 28, 000 inhabitants, 21, 000 jobs and 11, 000 housing units of which 6, 000 were developed by EuroDisney 
  • The French economy has benefited from added value of €3bn** and the generation of 56, 000** jobs (1 job at Disneyland Paris generates a further 2.8 elsewhere in France). 

The current economic downturn has taken its toll on EuroDisney with reduced attendance, revenue and hotel occupancy reported in the first half of the year, and there remains the significant debt burden of €1.9bn as at 31 March 2010.  During the year to 30 September 2009 EuroDIsney made debt repayments of €86m, but offsetting this was a further €75m of deferred royalties, management fees, and accrued interest which was converted into loans.  [€50m of the deferral related to royalties and fees due to The Walt Disney Company, the maximum allowed for deferral in a year under the 2005 Restructuring agreement.  From 2010 to 2014 this limit is reduced to a €25m conditional deferral per annum.]  By comparison capital investment in the same period was €72m

Despite the difficult economic environment the Amendment reflects EuroDisney’s confidence that it can deliver on the further development; there are 300 million Europeans within 2 hours of the resort.  Details of phasing and funding are as yet unspecified but it is clear that outside investment is essential.  The French State estimates that the projects within the new perimeter could generate investment of around €8bn by tourist and urban developers, of which €1.8bn for Les Villages Nature de Val d’Europe is to be provided by individual and institutional investors.

Philippe Gas, C.E.O. of Euro Disney, says “We are committed to continue developing our tourist destination and supporting France’s tourism leadership, while addressing the challenges of sustainable development.”

 

UPDATE October 11th, 2010:

City A.M. reports that in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph Philippe Gas confirmed that EuroDisney intends to pay back 25% of its €1.9bn debt by 2013.  Although not currently paying a dividend, Gas says that the company is committed to rewarding shareholders and that there is enough cash to finance the debt repayment, refurbishments and expansion plans.  Shares fell 1 cent, or 0.2 percent, to 4.14 euros following the announcement.

 

 

* Euro Disney S.C.A.  is the parent company of Euro Disney Associés S.C.A, operator of Disneyland® Paris.  The Walt Disney Company holds a 40% stake and Prince al-Waleed, 10%.

**Direct, indirect and induced.  Source:  Euro Disney S.C.A.

 

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