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24 Oct 2003

Saudi prince in Euro Disney cash talks

Saudi billionaire Prince Al-Walid bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz is in talks with Euro Disney, in which he is a major shareholder and which expects its losses to deepen this year, his spokesman told Agence France Presse (AFP).

“We’re in talks right now,” Amjad Shacker told AFP. “Obviously, the company is not doing as well as expected, so the talks would have to be about how it would improve.”

But Shacker declined to say if the Saudi tycoon was considering a rescue plan for the operator of Disneyland Paris, insisting it would be “premature to jump to conclusions.”

“We’re not commenting on the talks,” he told AFP, when pressed to say whether Prince Al-Walid, who bailed out Euro Disney in exchange for a 24 per cent stake in 1994, would pump more funds into the company or was trying to broker a deal with creditor banks.

The prince has reduced his stake in Euro Disney to 17 per cent within the past two years “as part of the deal with had with them,” Shacker told AFP.


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