Euro Disney S.C.A. shareholders voted to approve the controversial The Walt Disney Company recapitalization proposal at the companies Annual General Meeting which was held today (13th January 2015) at Palais des Congrès, Paris.
The meeting opened with a minutes silence in memory for those that lost their lives in the tragic events in Pairs last week.
During the meeting Tom Wolber, Président of Euro Disney S.A.S. said “We continue to invest in the quality of the Disneyland Paris experience”, and that “Villages Natures aims to become Europe’s leading Eco-Tourism resort”.
He continued “As shown with Ratatouille, investing in quality is part of the fabric of our brand”, “We will increase our investment in all areas of Disneyland Paris over the next three years, and we have a strategy to put Disneyland Paris in a position to benefit when Europe comes out of the recession”.
Tom also went on to announce that this years summer season will be Frozen themed, “Frozen has been a worldwide phenomenon and our Guests are eager to experience that when they visit Disneyland Paris”. “The Chaparral Theater will welcome a Frozen Song Along!”.
Tom also went on to say that a number of rides and attractions will receive a general refresh including Space Mountain and The Nautilus. “We invested €420 million over the last three years and 40% will be spent over the next three years” – nearly €590 million” – he said.
Mr Wolber finished his address by saying “I want Disneyland Paris to remain Europe’s leading tourist destination, and we expect to celebrate the 300,000,000th guest in 2015!”
Mark Stead Chief Financial Officer then took the podium and addressed the shareholders by saying “Delivering a higher quality experience is vital to the future of our business, and€200 million line of credit available to Disneyland Paris is as yet unused”. He also reminded shareholders “The doing nothing will substantially reduce your Euro Disney holding” if they did not partake in the recapitalization.
Virginie Calmels Chairman of the Supervisory Board then admitted to shareholders that “The 2014 financial results are bad” and continued that “We will be making losses until at least 2018”, she continued that “Your board remains committed, alongside you and the management team of Disneyland Paris”. This plan will allow “a restart of the Euro Disney adventure” Ms. Calmels said.
Shareholders then had the opportunity to ask questions which the majority of which were about the recapitalization proposal. After the debate, the resolutions concerning the recapitalization were adopted with more than 99% of the vote, despite opposition displayed by a number of small equity holders, unhappy to be called again to contribute to the bailout of the company.
Over the past year, sales had declined to €1.28 billion, net loss was dropped to €93.4 million euros and the operating loss tripled to €65.4 million.
Euro Disney shares closed at €3.22 up €0.04 (1.26%) after today’s AGM which clears the way for TWDC to increase it’s holding to at least 70 percent stake in Euro Disney, with Saudi Prince Al-Walid remaining the second biggest shareholder.
Thank you to Euro Disney shareholder Martin Walker for Tweeting live from the AGM today.