SEOUL Jan 19 Universal Studios on Tuesday signed
an agreement to build a $2.7 billion theme park in South Korea,
its third and largest in Asia, reviving a plan delayed for two
years by lack of funding.
The project can now go ahead after financing was secured from
South Korea's Lotte Group, operator of the country's
second-largest retailer Lotte Shopping (023530.KS), and POSCO
(005490.KS), the world's no.4 steelmaker.
Construction by POSCO Engineering & Construction is set to
begin in 2011, with the movie theme park, water park and resort,
including a golf course and condominiums, due to open in early
2014 in Hwaseong City, near Seoul.
Plans for the 3 trillion won ($2.67 billion) resort were
first announced in November 2007. Universal has now secured 15
partners, led by Lotte Asset Development, with a 26.7 percent
stake, and POSCO Engineering and Construction, with a 24.4
Universal, set to be taken over by Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O),
already has parks in Osaka, Japan and is opening one in
Singapore, as well as in Los Angeles and Orlando in the United
Universal Parks and Resorts Chief Executive Tom Williams
declined to comment on how much Universal planned to invest in
the project, or on where else in Asia it was looking to build
(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)