On 22 May 2014 Jay Rasulo, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Walt Disney Company despite a very busy schedule, meet with two members of APPAED the Association of Small Holders of Shares Euro Disney for a very cordial interview which took place in the presence of Philippe GAS, Chief Executive Officer of Euro Disney.
Below is a short report from the meeting.
Disneyland Paris is a part of the Walt Disney Company.
It is Disney’s image in Europe. As well as the merchandising and the movies, the purpose of the Resort is to contribute to improve the interest of the public for the Disney brand. Disneyland Paris is a vivid experience for the visitors.
The Walt Disney Company is the main shareholder of Euro Disney, the unique lender, the business partner and the owner of the intellectual property. Those are the relations between TWDC/ED.
Euro Disney Management takes all the operational decisions, from day to day. In this way, Euro Disney is self-governing. We share our expertise in the Theme Parks business. With all of our Parks, we know what works or not. We can share our know how in the attractions’ process, in marketing…
The relations go both ways: we share all our knowledge. But Euro Disney remains independent in its decisions for its development.
The Negative Results.
The TWDC hope for profits and better results, but we are aware of the current economic problems in Europe. It is normal. And all the competing Companies in Europe have the same problems.
We are in here for the long term and we hope for a better future. We are confident in the Management Team.
The first condition for Euro Disney to become profitable.
Would be a better economic situation. There is also the need of more investments in the attractions, the hotels, the Parks. We had the same problem in California with Disney California Adventure and we solved it with massive investments.
Today no more banks, the TWDC is the only interlocutor to give cash. This is how Euro Disney could set up Ratatouille.
To be profitable, you always need New to get back visitors and make them spend more. Today we are the only lender. Previously with the bankers, it was difficult to get approved. We are here with the credit lines. If Euro Disney needs money there is no need to ask.
Everything is clear and defined: if they decide to use them, they know under what conditions. It can be seasonal, for short term or in way of insurance. It is an opportunity that they can use when they want. It is flexible: they can draw from to speed up the investment. Those lines are there to support a long term strategy.
We help Euro Disney.
With the cash flow, the expertise and the advice, and above all the confidence. We have confidence in the Management Team and in the future of Disneyland Paris. We can help with the investments in the attractions, in the hotels. But there is no way of bringing money and say ” Do what you want?”. TWDC Shareholders would not allow it.
The Shareholders are investors, but they are a part of ‘the family’.
And they also are fans and visitors. It is been a real journey for 25 years and we hope to give them a good return. Most of them are still there, they are big supporters. They are proud to take part and they want that we succeed together.
We want to team up with them. Philippe has set up a relation with Round Table. It is an important connection. Disney is not a Company like any other: nowhere in a General Meeting of Shareholders you would hear any questions as during Euro Disney‘s General Meeting.
Disneyland Paris is a part of some Shareholders’ life who know the Resort by heart, in every detail.
We also expect from the Shareholders, small Shareholders, frank questions, feed-back. We listen to their questions. They are the first consumers. On the other hand, they should avoid personal questions, which have no place in Shareholders General Meeting. Euro Disney’s Shareholders are known for their characteristic to feel home: they know the Resort better that anyone else. This is not true for other Companies.
To restore confidence in small Shareholders as in institutional investors.
We have a clear strategy for long term: the improvement and the increase of the results. We are waiting for Shareholders to support it.
Jay was asked is a capital increase possible and/or considered?
“At present, a capital increase is not considered. Nothing is planned, but you never can tell. We are waiting for the results of Ratatouille. But at the moment nothing is planned”.