* Disney theme park operator Shendi secures loan
* Disney announces China animation initiative
SHANGHAI, April 11 The operator of the planned
Shanghai Disney theme park has secured a 12.9 billion yuan ($2
billion) syndicated loan for the construction of the park,
Chinese media reported on Wednesday, a boost for Walt Disney Co
as it embarks on a newly announced animation venture in
Shanghai Securities News cited Shao Xiaoyun, a vice
president of Shanghai Shendi Group, the Disney theme park
operator, as saying the project will receive two syndicated loan
amounts, the first of which is 12.9 billion yuan.
Other than the Disney theme park, the city also plans to
develop a tourism zone around the theme park.
"The first and second syndicated loans will fulfill the
funding needs of the Shanghai Disneyland project and the
Shanghai International Tourism Zone," Shao said.
The loan deal signed on Tuesday was under a framework agreed
upon in May between Shendi Group and a consortium of 12 banks,
led by China Development Bank, Shanghai Pudong
Development Bank and Bank of Communications
, the Shanghai Daily reported.
Last month banking sources told Basis Point, a Thomson
Reuters publication, Shendi Group was approaching banks to
reserve more than 10 billion yuan of credit quotas for itself
and an additional 900 million yuan in loans, after failing to
raise a targeted 21 billion yuan in financing.
The Shanghai theme park is estimated to cost 24.5 billion
yuan ($3.9 billion), with hotels and additional facilities
costing 4.5 billion yuan ($713 million) more.
The investment amount will be split between media company
Walt Disney Co and the Shendi Group, with Disney holding 43
percent of the shares of the owner companies and
government-backed Shendi holding the remaining 57 percent.
CHINA ANIMATION INITIATIVE
Disney said on Tuesday it will work with China's Ministry of
Culture and Tencent Holdings to launch an initiative
to promote the animation industry in China, train local talent
and develop Chinese content and franchises to an international
Disney will provide expertise in the areas of creative
concept development, especially story writing, screening, story
refining and market research, the firm said in a statement.
In February, Dreamworks Animation SKG Inc said it
would build a production studio in Shanghai as part of a joint
venture with some of China's biggest media companies.
Similarly, Comcast Corp's NBC Universal Studio is
said to be in preliminary talks with Tianjin about a joint
venture to build a theme park in the port city.
The influx of interest from Hollywood studios comes as
China's booming middle class start becoming avid theater
patrons, forgoing the cheaper option of buying a pirated movie.
In February, China agreed to open its market to more
American movies, permitting 14 premium format films, such as
IMAX or 3D, to be exempt from the annual 20 foreign film quota.