Walt Disney has snapped up a fresh stake in its struggling Euro Disney firm and eyes full control

Courtney Goldsmith
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The 2015 Paris attacks and difficult conditions in 2016 have hit profits
The 2015 Paris attacks and difficult conditions in 2016 have hit profits (Source: Getty)

Walt Disney has raised its stake in its embattled Euro Disney firm and is now seeking to take full control through a deal with a Saudi billionaire.

The American media giant today said it will acquire most of Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal's Kingdom Holding's stake in the company, taking its holdings to 85.7 per cent from 76.7 per cent.

Through its subsidiary EDL Holding Company, Disney is buying a nine per cent stake in the Disneyland Paris operator for 2 euros a share, to be paid in Disney common stock, the company said.

Kingdom Holding's stake in Euro Disney will fall from 10 per cent to just one per cent.

Read more: Happiest place no more: Euro Disney shareholders battle with Walt Disney

The animated cartoon maker also made a cash offer of 2 euros a share to acquire the remaining stake. If it gets to at least 95 per cent it will buy out and delist the shares from the company which is listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange.

Euro Disney's losses have been mounting. Annual net loss grew to 858m euros (£730.5m) in 2016 from 102m euros in 2015.

Reuters said despite the 67 per cent premium Disney's offers represented, minority shareholders have previously complained about the way the company was run and could resist the offer.

After the completion of the voluntary tender offer, if Disney and its subsidiaries own at least 95 percent of Euro Disney's shares, it would promptly buy out and delist Euro Disney shares from the Euronext Paris stock exchange.

Disney also said its 1.5bn euro racapitalisation for Euro Disney, which would go into its infrastructure improvements and debt reduction.

Read more: The force wasn't strong enough for Disney as revenue slides

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