Authorities question hostile bid for Mouse

Co.'s goal is to unseat Euro Disney management

The Disneyland theme park could be the subject of a hostile bid by a little-known Swiss company, it emerged on Wednesday.

But Euro Disney and French stock market officials cast doubt on the legitimacy of the overture, Dow Jones reported.

Center-Tainment, which is registered in Zug, Switzerland, released a statement saying it had organized a press conference for today in Paris to announce an all-share bid for Euro Disney.

The company — which said it had recently been created to launch the Euro Disney bid and which is quoted on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange — said its goal was to unseat Euro Disney management.

In the statement, Center-Tainment said it planned to offer its own shares in exchange for Euro Disney stock.

Disney officials in Europe and the U.S. said they had had no contact with Center-Tainment, though they were aware of the purported press conference.

“Despite our attempts to obtain information from them, we have been unable to secure material information on this company,” Euro Disney spokesman Pieter Boterman said.

An official at French stock market regulator AMF said the watchdog had not been contacted by Center-Tainment.

Euro Disney has been struggling to reduce its debt and boost business after a prolonged slump in European tourism and repeated strikes by its employees. The company earlier this month posted a net loss for its fiscal year of €88.6 million ($1.16 billion).

Parent company Walt Disney owns a 39.8% stake in the company, Prince Al Waleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia 10%.

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