LONDON (CNNfn) - Euro Disney, operator of the Disneyland Paris theme park, disclosed details Wednesday of a 4 billion franc ($640 million) investment in a second theme park, dedicated to film and television, next to its existing site at Marne-la-Vallée, east of Paris.
Euro Disney said the new site would benefit from the "existing infrastructure" of Disneyland Paris, including the Disneyland Hotel.
Wednesday's announcement comes more than a decade after Euro Disney and French authorities first broached the idea of a second park -- only to scrap the plan indefinitely as Euro Disney ran into debt problems in 1993
Euro Disney plans to finance the park with a 1.5 billion franc equity offer, of which the Walt Disney Co. (DIS) will cover a 39 percent share, equal to its current stake in Euro Disney.
The remainder of the financing package will consist of a 2.5 billion franc long-term loan from France's state-owned Caisse des Depots et Consignations (CDC).
An existing 3.5 billion franc loan package from the CDC will be re-arranged at an interest rate of 5.15 percent, down from 7.85 percent at present.
Euro Disney has overcome early growing pains since its opening in 1992 to become Europe's most popular tourist attraction.
The Disneyland Paris park currently hosts about 12.5 million visitors a year, and Euro Disney officials said Wednesday they envision 5 million visitors to the new facility in its first year -- probably in 2002 -- alongside the creation of 5,000 new jobs.
The Euro Disney resort embraces seven themed hotels, the Disney Village entertainment center with movie theaters, concert halls and a golf course.
Though Euro Disney has recovered from a painful restructuring in 1994, the company is still laboring under a heavy debt, estimated at just under 16 billion francs ($2.56 billion).
Euro Disney shares were suspended Wednesday morning in Paris pending the announcement, and had not resumed trading by mid-afternoon. The company's shares closed at 1.26 euros Tuesday in Paris.