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Another Voice
04-16-2003, 09:47 AM
Several threads on the boards recently have asked about Disney's exposure to the growing anti-French and anti-American emotions that are swirling around. Just so everyone has a basic understanding of the situation, here are facts surrounding Euro Disney many more can be found at http://www.eurodisney.com which is the official company website.

Disneyland Paris and the surrounding development are owned by Euro Disney S.C.A., a publicly traded French corporation. Its shares are traded on the London, Paris and Brussels stock exchanges (not on Wall Street).

As of 9/30/2002:

44.6% of the company was owned by individual investors and funds.

39.1% is owned by The Walt Disney Company (through a series of holding companies) Disney is prohibited by French law from maintaining a majority ownership. Disney has two "representatives" on EDL's Supervisory Board: Tom Skaggs (CFO of The Walt Disney Company) and Sandy Litvack. Disney earns money from EDL through any dividends paid and through licensing & management fees. This arrangement is different from the one Disney has with Tokyo Disneyland in that Disney does not hold any stock in that project (which is owned and operated by the Oriental Land Company which in turn is owned by other companies).

16.3% of Euro Disney is owned by Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud. He is a member of the Saudi royal family (he's the nephew of Saudi Arabia's King Faud) and has been a significant investor in world markets. He was brought into Euro Disney as part of the restructuring after EDL's horrendous opening years. Most American's, however, will probably remember him as the Saudi prince who gave New York City a check for $10 million immediately after September 11th, and then promptly told America it was probably our fault (Rudy returned the check). There is a slightly dated article about him at http://www.forbes.com/2002/03/11/0311alwaleed.html.


Visitors to Disneyland Paris are mostly from France (40%), followed by the United Kingdom (21%), The Netherlands (9%), Germany (7%), other neighboring European countries (15%) and the rest (8%) from elsewhere.

Five year attendance:
1998 12.5 million
1999 12.5
2000 12.0
2001 12.2
2002 13.1 (opening of Disney Studios Paris).

On average Euro Disney employs 12,500 people who work a 35-hour week.

Until the opening of Disney/MGM Studios Paris the company had been turning a modest profit. This was a result of gradually increasing attendance, hotel occupancy, the restructuring of debt and various fees payable to The Walt Disney Company. The latest figures show total borrowing at $2.2 billion, almost unchanged from the 1994 amount of $2.4 billion.



Let's please leave the debating to other threads so that the lovely Ms. Sarangel won't boot these facts off into Debateland. When I get some more free time I'll try and write a similar profile of Vivendi Universal, the owner of Universal Studios and Universal Orlando.