Major Shanghai developer 'to take part in Disneyland'

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 December, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 December, 2009, 12:00am

The Chinese side of the joint-venture holding company to build and run the Shanghai Disney theme park is to be dominated by one of the city's largest developers, local media reported yesterday.

Shanghai Shendi Travel Resort Development Company, a three-member consortium, will hold a 57 per cent stake in the theme park, the 21st Century Business Herald said.

The Shanghai Lujiazui Development Group - one of the driving forces behind the city's financial district - holds a 60 per cent stake in the company, giving it a 34.2 per cent holding of the theme park, 21st Century reported.

The second largest stakeholder is Jinwin Investment, with 30 per cent, while the remaining 10 per cent share is taken up by Shanghai Nanhui District Property.

The reported stake sizes were based on a registered capital of 130 million yuan from all three companies as of October 27, the article said.

Shendi - an amalgamation of Chinese abbreviations for Shanghai and Disney - was set up in August last year, according to media reports dating to March, but this is the first breakdown of its shareholding structure or the balance between foreign and local interests.

The Pudong district administration, which is responsible for the project, said it could not confirm or deny the reports.

'The details are still being negotiated,' a spokeswoman said.

A Walt Disney spokesman last week told the South China Morning Post that the company would not comment further until a final agreement had been signed - expected within the next two months.

However, a Pudong official linked to the project confirmed to the Post that the Lujiazui company was likely to be the largest local stakeholder. The official said the deal was entering the final stages of talks, but declined to comment on which other Shanghai companies could be involved.

The project hit the headlines last week when the National Development and Reform Commission, an arm of the State Council, stated it had given permission for a 116-hectare park - less than a third of the expected size and smaller than even the 126-hectare Hong Kong Disneyland. Earlier reports, including from Shanghai's official media, had stated the project was to have a first phase of more than 400 hectares and would expand to about 1,000 hectares.

Pudong officials speaking anonymously have said the 116 hectare figure refers to an initial phase comprising only the 'main structures' of the park, with two more phases slated to follow.

The theme park is to be built in Chuansha township, a semi-rural suburb on the southeast corner of the city's outer ring road. This is in Nanhui district, a largely undeveloped area that was amalgamated under the Pudong administration this year. Residents told the Post this week they had not received formal notification of the relocation terms or when their homes would be demolished.