The Walt Disney Co. (DIS) is digging into its pockets again to help Euro Disney, operator of the troubled Disneyland Paris theme park complex. The U.S. parent is backing a €1 billion ($1.25 billion) bailout, including a 420 million capital increase and the conversion of debt it’s owed by Euro Disney into shares in the French company.
Paris-listed shares in Euro Disney (EDL:FP) plunged as much as 16 percent today, Oct. 6, on news of its second major recapitalization in two years. Euro Disney hasn’t made a profit since 2008, a situation exacerbated recently by declining attendance as the French economy falters. The company has said it could lose as much as €120 million this year, with sales down 3 percent. By contrast, sales at Disney’s U.S. park and resort operations are up 8 percent this year.
Maybe it’s time someone at corporate seriously questioned the wisdom of operating a theme park on a continent without children.