Dubai theme park operator in talks to restructure $1.15bn of loans – report

The company fell 4.4 million people short of its 2017 visitor target



Dubai theme park operator DXB Entertainments is reportedly in talks with banks to restructure $1.15bn of loans used to build Dubai Parks and Resorts after visitor numbers were well under expectations.

Bloomberg cited sources as confirming the firm is looking to reschedule the loan it signed in 2014 and is asking banks to freeze payments for three years.

The facility matures in 2026 and DXB is in talks with lenders including Qatar National Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and Dubai Islamic Bank, according to the publication.

The report comes a week after Reuters said Dubai indoor theme park operator Ilyas & Mustafa Galadari Group (IMG) was in talks with banks to restructure a Dhs1.2bn ($326.7m) syndicated loan and extend its maturity.

IMG said the loan was due to a cost overrun in the park’s pre-opening phase but bankers told Reuters one reason for the talks was also low footfalls after the August 2016 opening.

Read: Dubai theme park operator IMG in talks to restructure $326.7m loan

Dubai Parks and Resorts, which includes Legoland, Bollywood and Hollywood themed theme parks, opened in late 2016 with aims to attract 6.7 million visitors in its first full year of operation in 2017.

Read: Pictures, video: Inside Dubai Parks and Resorts as it officially opens

The company said on Monday it attracted 2.3 million after posting a full year loss of Dhs1.12bn ($305m). This was higher than the Dhs896m mean estimate of four analysts, according to Bloomberg.

DXB announced a strategy review in August including a management shakeup that saw chief parks operating officer Stanford Pinto, chief technical officer Matthew Priddy, chief projects officer Paul La France and senior vice president of hospitality, events, retail and dining Klaus Assmann depart.

Read: Dubai Parks operator shakes up senior management as it unveils new strategy

A spokesperson said DXB periodically reviews its capital structure “to ensure we have the right funding terms to meet our strategic objectives”.