Walt Disney Settles with Genting over Fox Deal

  • Walt Disney and Genting settle in Fox Case
  • Fox World to be renamed to Genting
  • Genting overcomes an important setback in its investment portfolio

Walt Disney has agreed to honor the original deal struck between Fox and Genting back in 2013, allowing Genting to use Fox assets in the rebranded Fox World resort.

Walt Disney, Fox and Genting Settle: Overview

Walt Disney Co, 21st Century Fox and Malaysian casino operator Genting have settled a billion-dollar lawsuit whereby Genting accused the former of intentionally not honoring a deal that would have had the operator build Fox’s first theme park.

According to Genting’s lawsuit, Fox knowingly breached a 2013 contract that bound the company to license any intellectual property for Fox World, a planned addition to the Resorts World Genting, to the plaintiff.

The lawsuit was launched with the U.S. District Court of Los Angeles at a time when Disney and Fox were consolidating their joint-assets, with Disney preparing to buy a $71.3 billion worth of Fox assets.

Disney was to blame for the rift between Genting and Fox, experts noted, as the company had been actively trying to disassociate itself with any gambling products, both in Florida and internationally. Still, Disney owns ESPN which has been featuring more sports betting related content in its offer, to which Disney hasn’t made a comment.

This exact line of reasoning was presented by Genting in the complaint submitted to court. Furthermore, Genting pointed out that:

Given that FEG had no right to terminate the agreement, Fox and Disney are liable for what will exceed a billion dollars in damages attributable to the bad-faith behavior of both Fox and Disney.”

With Genting already laying down a $750-million investment in the project, the company was prepared to seek punitive damages. The companies have since settled.

Disney Concedes to Genting’s Terms

On July 26, it was reported that Disney and Genting had reached an agreement which would honor the terms of the original deal. As a result, the Malaysian operator will gain access to the park’s intellectual property assets, letting the company leverage them to boost its own business operations.

AllianceDBS Research Analyst Cheah King Yoong has noted that the resolution of the lawsuit without actually proceeding to court was a good sign for Genting as well as Disney’s stance on gaming.

Even though Disney wanted to cancel the deal and proceed in court, the company eventually decided against it at a time when it wants to keep its image “family-friendly”. Risking to embroil itself in a legal battle where the implications are not clear was decided to be unnecessary at that point.

The Genting Park, which will change its name from Fox World, is expected to cater to 23 million people annually and it will have a number of amenities and entertainment venues, such as shopping malls, restaurants, clubs, bars and gondola lifts, along with other facilities.

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