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Vivendi Universal to announce theme park in Shanghai: report.

HONG KONG, Dec. 6 Kyodo

A subsidiary of media and entertainment giant Vivendi Universal SA of France will announce a deal Saturday to build an amusement park in Shanghai, the Asian Wall Street Journal said Friday.

The $870 million deal will be reached between Universal Parks & Resorts and two Chinese partners, the municipally owned Waigaoqiao Group Co. and Shanghai Jinjiang (Group) Holding Co., the newspaper said.

The planned park could open as soon as 2006 and will be located in a 2-square-kilometer site in the booming Chinese coastal city's Pudong development zone.

An official at Waigaoqiao was quoted as saying the two Chinese partners will hold a majority of the equity in the project.

Universal's investment is likely to be less than $100 million, though it probably would end up with an ownership stake of about one-third, the newspaper reported.

As in its other overseas theme-park ventures, Universal is likely to receive management fees once the facility is up and running, it added.

The agreement will give Universal a head start in the theme-park race in Shanghai.

Walt Disney Co. has been negotiating with the city's government about a park project as well, the newspaper said, but Disney, which is building a theme park in Hong Kong, has refused to confirm news reports that it has signed a letter of intent to build a park in Shanghai.

Fast-growing Shanghai is one of the most popular cities for foreign investments in China.

The city was also named the site of the 2010 World Expo earlier this week.
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Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Asian Economic News
Geographic Code:4EUFR
Date:Dec 9, 2002
Words:256
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