HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong lawmakers approved a government plan on Friday to spend HK$3.63 billion ($468 million) expanding the city’s Disneyland theme park with Walt Disney, boosting the smallest of Disney’s five resorts.
With attendance falling short of targets, the government has been seeking ways to boost the number of visitors in the long term, given the threat from a rival Disney theme park planned for Shanghai.
Hong Kong will convert a significant amount of its HK$6.89 billion outstanding loan to the park into equity, while Walt Disney will invest HK$3.5 billion to help finance the construction cost and also convert its outstanding HK$2.76 billion loan to the theme park into equity.
After Disney’s new investment and Hong Kong’s debt-to-equity swap, Hong Kong’s stake in the park will fall to 52 percent from 57 percent.
(Reporting by Nerilyn Tenorio and Alison Leung; Editing by Dan Lalor)