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Fox, Disney hit with a $ 1.75 billion suit to get away from the Malaysian theme park

The complaint alleges that Disney did not want to be associated with the game.

In a new lawsuit, Genting Malaysia Berhad claims to spend $ 750 million to bring to life a theme park outside of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which would take advantage of Fox's intellectual property, including Ice Age Y Planet of the Apes, just so that Fox and Disney get away from the deal with the "seller's remorse".

According to a lawsuit filed Monday in federal court in California, Genting Malaysia Berhad (GENB) signed its licensing agreement with Fox in 2013. The plaintiff notes that, unlike Disney or Universal, Fox had no experience in the parks business thematic until GENM presented an opportunity to create the first theme park of the Fox brand called "Fox World". The agreement was to provide Fox with an annual license fee and a cutback on retail sales, and Fox also received several approval rights on the design of the park, which would be the centerpiece of a resort that included a casino.

GENM says that a "soft opening" was scheduled in the first half of 2019, but that lately, Fox has been opening up obstacles including the insistence on "less qualified" suppliers, who do not provide style guides for digital assets and who do not provide requires support on the site.

"Why [Fox Entertainment Group] Do you behave in this way? "the complaint rhetorically asks." Initially, because FEG wanted to use its leverage under the [Memorandum of Agreement] "to threaten the termination and force a renegotiation of the economic terms of what he saw as an agreement below the market, largely due to his failure to negotiate a part of the sales of the door."

GENM says that Fox succeeded in extracting some concessions, including the increase and acceleration of licensing costs and minimum guarantee payments, but the problems did not diminish, especially when Disney reached an agreement to acquire the assets of Fox by Rupert Murdoch.

"With regard to information and belief, the soon-to-be Fox's future owner, Disney, was now attracting attention, and his goal was no longer the renegotiation of the MOA, but its termination," the complaint states. "Unlike Fox, who was perfectly happy that the Park was located a stone's throw away from the Resorts World Genting casinos, as long as he could still get financial concessions from GENM, Disney did not want to partner with a gaming company like GENM. because of Disney's. " "family-friendly brand strategy, as evidenced by its well-documented lobbying history against the opening of gaming facilities near its parks." As a result, FEG issued a "notice of non-compliance" in order to initiate the process of termination of the Agreement of the parties. "

The plaintiff, represented by a team of Kasowitz Benson led by John Berlinski, says the seller's remorse "is not a valid reason to terminate an agreement" and is now trying to recover the $ 750 million investment, in addition to demanding more than $ 1 billion in consequence and punitive damages.

GENM is claiming breach of contract and breach of fair treatment against Fox, while also pursuing Disney for allegedly inducing breaches. In addition, the validity of the termination is in question.

The lawsuit also details some of Murdoch's intrigues after the merger.

James Murdoch, for example, is said to have "disapproved of the commercial foundations of Fox World, with Mr. Murdoch commenting to others within Fox that he preferred to invest in and operate Fox-owned parks instead of granting him the Fox IP license. In addition, allowing an entity such as GENM, over which 21CF would have no control, own and operate a theme park called "Fox World" would have been inconsistent with 21CF's business plans to change the name of the company with the name & # 39; FOX & # 39; after the merger ".

Fox declined to comment.

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