Casino operator Genting Malaysia Bhd says it has reached a settlement “fully resolving” the US$1-billion lawsuit versus several entities of the Fox entertainment brand and the Walt Disney Co.
Under the announced peace deal, an outdoor theme park will go ahead at the Resorts World Genting casino complex (pictured) near Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur, and contain “Fox and non-Fox intellectual properties” and use a new name, said the casino group in a Thursday filing to Bursa Malaysia.
The filing stated: “As part of the settlement terms, the parties have entered into a restated memorandum of agreement dated 25 July 2019 granting Genting Malaysia a licence to use certain Fox intellectual properties.”
It added Genting Malaysia was “currently updating its development and construction plans to complete the outdoor theme park utilising both Fox and non Fox intellectual properties. The outdoor theme park shall also be renamed.”
A Friday note from Samuel Yin Shao Yang, an analyst at Maybank IB Research, stated: “The incorporation of non-Fox intellectual property implies to us that the outdoor theme park cannot reassume its previous name, 20th Century Fox World.”
Mr Yin had flagged in a Wednesday note that the outdoor theme park at Resorts World Genting, Malaysia’s only licensed casino complex, might open in the first quarter next year, based on recent recruitment advertising by the firm’s theme park division.
In November last year it was announced the casino firm had launched a US$1 billion lawsuit in the United States against Walt Disney Co and Fox Entertainment Group LLC and some related companies, alleging bad faith over a stalled theme park project supposed to use Fox branding. The defendants issued a counter claim in January this year.
Genting Malaysia had blamed “seller’s remorse” on behalf of Fox, because key parts of the latter brand were being taken over by Walt Disney Co.
The previously-warring parties have now agreed to dismiss all claims and counterclaims between the parties “in the pending legal action in the United States District Court for the Central District of California,” noted Thursday’s filing by the casino group.
Genting Malaysia said the settlement of the legal proceedings was “not expected to have any material effect on the consolidated earnings, net assets and gearing” of Genting Malaysia for the financial year ending December 31.
Maybank’s Mr Yin said in his Friday memo on the impact of the legal agreement: “Details are lacking at this point in time. Nonetheless, we view this development positively.”
“We gather all eyes will be on the second-quarter 2019 results conference call scheduled for 29 August 2019 for more details on this development,” he added.
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