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Disney Seeks Full Ownership of Disneyland Paris

Disney is looking to buy out the remaining shares in Disneyland Paris, the theme park that has struggled with attendance since the November 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris.

Disney disclosed on Friday that it is poised to raise its ownership stake in the Euro Disney parent company to 85.7% after cutting a deal to buy the interest held by another Euro Disney investor, Kingdom Holding Co. Disney said it intends to launch a tender offer to scoop up the remaining shares that it does not own in order to take full control of its European theme park.

Disney has also pledged to invest as much as $1.6 billion in Disneyland Paris to improve financial conditions that have been “significantly and negatively impacted by the November 2015 events in Paris and the challenging business conditions that continued through 2016 in France and throughout Europe,” the company said.

Disneyland Paris had been hoping for an attendance boost tied to its 25th anniversary promotional events this year. The Euro Disney investors poured money into the park in 2014 to refurbish hotels and other facilities in time for the 25th anniversary push. But the dark cloud of the coordinated attacks in and around Paris that left at least 130 people has put a damper on attendance at the park.

“Today’s announcement reflects The Walt Disney Company’s continued confidence in Disneyland Paris and in France, and will enable Euro Disney to continue improving and investing in the Resort,” Disney said in a statement.

Disney’s cash tender offer for Euro Disney’s outstanding shares is valued at about $2.12 a share, which marks a 67% premium over the trading price on the Euronext Paris Stock Exchange as of Feb. 9. Disney hopes to complete the buyout and have Euro Disney shares delisted by June.

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