Malaysia's Genting settles theme park battle with Disney, Fox

Malaysia's Genting settles theme park battle with Disney, Fox

Genting theme park
This picture taken on Jun 30, 2019 shows children riding a carousel at an indoor amusement park in Genting Highlands resort outside of Kuala Lumpur. (Photo: AFP/Mohd Rasfan) 

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian casino operator Genting, Walt Disney Co and 21st Century Fox have settled a legal battle that centred on allegations the US companies abandoned a project to build a theme park.

The Malaysian firm filed a US$1 billion lawsuit in a US court in November, alleging that Disney and Fox failed to honour a 2013 deal to license intellectual property for the park outside Kuala Lumpur.

This included from Fox animated films like "Ice Age" and "Planet of the Apes".

But in a statement late Thursday (Jul 25), Genting Malaysia Berhad said the parties had settled all disputes against each other.

Under the deal, the theme park - originally to be called Fox World - will be renamed and Genting will be allowed to use certain Fox intellectual properties, the casino operator said, without elaborating.

Genting's shares, which had plummeted following the announcement of their suit last year, were up about four per cent in afternoon trade in Kuala Lumpur.

"We believe that the full resolution of the Fox saga is a positive development for" Genting, Cheah King Yoong, an analyst at AllianceDBS Research, said in a note.

"The settlement of legal proceedings against Fox removes a major uncertainty for the group."

The original suit alleged that Fox was seeking to terminate the contract and that Disney executives were also keen on distancing themselves from the project because the park would be adjacent to a casino and would harm the company's "family-friendly" image.

The suit claimed that Fox had used repeated delays in the project as a reason to cancel the deal.

In a countersuit, Fox alleged that Genting failed to stick to its obligations on numerous occasions.

Under the original plans, the park was to be built on more than 10ha in the Genting Highlands, an idyllic mountain retreat an hour's drive outside of Kuala Lumpur, and feature more than 25 rides and attractions.

Source: AFP/ad

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