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DXB Entertainments seeks to restructure $1.15b loans

Park operator wants to reschedule loan after visitor numbers missed expectations

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Dubai Parks & Resort attracted 2.3 million visitors in 2017.

Dubai: DXB Entertainments is talking to banks to restructure $1.15 billion in loans used to build a theme park in Dubai after visitor numbers missed expectations, according to people familiar with the matter.

The park operator is seeking to reschedule the loan it signed in 2014 and is asking lenders to freeze payments for three years, the people said, asking not to be identified because the talks are private.

The facility matures in 2026, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Shares in the company rose 1.8 per cent at 10:21am in Dubai.

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." 

Qatar National Bank QPSC, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC and Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC are among lenders in talks with the company, the people said. None of the banks responded to requests to comment.

DXB Entertainments on Monday posted a full-year loss of Dh1.12 billion for 2017 that was wider than analysts' expectations. The mean estimate of four analysts was for the company to report a Dh896-million loss.

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