Hong Kong Disneyland to expand

Development to cost up to HK$4 billion

HONG KONG -- Disney and the Hong Kong government have agreed a plan to expand the struggling Hong Kong Disneyland theme park.

The new development will expand the number of "lands" from three at present to seven and cost HK$3 billion-$4 billion ($387 million-$515 million).

The deal comes after many months of negotiations and also rejigs the four-year-old park's ownership structure.

While Disney will pay for the new construction, the Hong Kong government will convert some HK$6 billion ($775 million) of its existing loans to the park into equity. Nevertheless, its share stake in the park will drop by a few percentage points from its current 57%, although the government will retain majority ownership.

Details of the new deal are likely to be unveiled more fully next week after the plans are discussed by a special panel of Legco, Hong Kong's parliament.
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