Hostile Takeover at Euro Disney?

30 Nov

No, we’re not talking about a surprise visit from Maleficent . . . here’s a story from the Orlando Sentinel about a Swiss company making a bid for Euro Disney.

A Swiss company that operates family amusement parks said Wednesday that it was making a hostile takeover bid for Euro Disney SCA, Europe’s largest theme-park operator.

Center-Tainment AG, registered in the Swiss canton of Zug, said in an e-mailed statement that it will try to acquire 50.01 percent of Euro Disney’s stock through a share swap and gain control over the company’s theme parks.

Another report on this story, from Dow Jones newswires, notes that Center-Tainment intends to terminate Disney’s contract and run the park itself. This would not be the first time a Disney-branded operation was operated by an independant party; let’s just look at the Disney Stores for example, which are no longer owned or operated by Disney (save a few locations, like Times Square and MCO). But I don’t find this example particularly comforting. I have some questions about Euro Disney’s operations team, and their ability to maintain the “magic.” On the other hand, I’m not entirely sure that Disney’s figured out how to effectively localize their resorts, and surely a Swiss company would better understand the French business and cultural environments.

Disneyland Paris may not be the Happiest Place on Earth, but it’s the prettiest Disneyland there is. My heart’s with the folks in Burbank on this one.

4 Responses to “Hostile Takeover at Euro Disney?”

  1. Kitty-chan November 30, 2006 at 1:07 pm #

    There’s more on this now from Reuters, with this interesting tidbit:

    “Unfortunately our chief legal counsel is sick so we have had to postpone the action for a few days. The official offer will come in the next days,” said Kurt Andreesen, who identified himself as an independent investment banker for the company.

    Surely they’re not really delaying just because one person isn’t feeling well?

  2. Kitty-chan December 4, 2006 at 8:00 am #

    Here’s another follow-up article, from theage.com.au. They don’t add much to the Reuters article above, but they do make this excellently amusing point:

    There was no immediate comment from Walt Disney.

    Sure, but did Elvis chime in?

  3. tgtby2 December 4, 2006 at 9:44 am #

    hehe, that was funny!

  4. Kitty-chan December 8, 2006 at 12:26 pm #

    And yet again, more on this from Reuters: The Takeover that never happened.

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