Hong Kong Disney Gets Loan

Hong Kong Disneyland said it has cleared its commercial loans of about 3.3 billion Hong Kong dollars (US$425 million) thanks to the help from Walt Disney Co., which provided financial terms more favorable than the open market.

The loan payment, which had been due Tuesday, removed a significant obstacle in the theme park's expansion as it wiped out worries that Hong Kong Disneyland would have to refinance in an increasingly tight credit market and accept less favorable terms.

The park is a joint venture between Walt Disney and the Hong Kong government, which shouldered most of the US$3.5 billion construction cost. The repayment includes a HK$2.32 billion loan and HK$1 billion revolving credit facility. It came after the Hong Kong government, which owns a 57% stake in the park, agreed to accept a less expensive financial arrangement from Disney, said a Hong Kong Disneyland spokesman.

"Hong Kong Disneyland can now focus on its expansion plan," he said in a phone interview Wednesday.

Since opening in 2005, the park has come under fire for poor attendance. The spokesman said the park had submitted a proposal for expansion to the Hong Kong government. Local media have reported the government isn't keen to inject more public money to fund the park's expansion.


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