By Matthew Martin and Archana Narayanan
Dubai’s DXB Entertainments PJSC is talking to banks to restructure $1.15 billion in loans used to build a theme park in the emirate after visitor numbers missed expectations, according to people familiar with the matter.
The theme park operator is seeking to reschedule the loan it signed in 2014 and is asking lenders to freeze payments for three years and make higher repayments after that, the people said, asking not to be identified because the talks are private. The facility matures in 2026, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
DXB Entertainments, which counts Qatar Investment Authority as its second-biggest shareholder, opened the Dubai Parks & Resorts theme park in 2016. The entertainment center, which includes the Middle East’s first Legoland theme park and parks based on Bollywood and Hollywood films, aimed to draw 6.7 million visitors in 2017, its first full year of operation. Instead, it attracted 2.3 million visitors, the company said in its earning statement on Monday.
A spokeswoman for DXB Entertainments said it “periodically” reviews its capital structure “to ensure we have the right funding terms to meet our strategic objectives” and “continues to receive support from its stakeholders including its financing partners.”
DXB Entertainments on Monday posted a full-year loss of 1.12 billion dirhams ($305 million) for 2017 that was wider than analyst expectations. The company said it revised ticket pricing and targeted marketing to GCC residents to attract visitors to its theme park.