SHANGHAI (Dow Jones)--Japan's Oriental Land Co. (4661.TO), the operator of the Tokyo Disney Resort, on Friday denied a Chinese media report that said it is in talks with Walt Disney Co. (DIS) on running the Disneyland theme park planned for Shanghai.
"We have no plans to participate in the operations of the theme park in Shanghai and we have never been in talks with the Shanghai government or Walt Disney about running the park," Hiroshi Suzuki, a spokesman for Oriental Land, told Dow Jones Newswires.
China's 21st Century Business Herald reported Thursday that Oriental Land was in talks with Walt Disney on securing the rights to run the Shanghai park.
The Shanghai government said Monday construction of the multi-billion-dollar theme park's basic infrastructure would start this year.
The 21st Century Business Herald report also said the Shanghai government's total investment in the park would be more than CNY100 billion ($15.1 billion). The report didn't cite any sources.
Investment in the theme park itself would be about CNY25 billion, and the cost of the supporting facilities would amount to an estimated CNY40 billion, the paper said.
A spokeswoman for Disney told Dow Jones Newswires: "We are still awaiting final approval from the central government on the incorporation of the related joint venture companies and the completion of the necessary regulatory processes, so it is premature to comment on any aspect of the development at this time."
Walt Disney said in November it had signed a detailed agreement with local authorities on how they would jointly operate the theme park in Shanghai.
The initial phase of the project could cost more than $3.5 billion, making Shanghai Disneyland one of the largest foreign investments in China.
China's Ministry of Commerce still needs to sign off on the plan, which could take months and require amendments.
By Esther Fung, Dow Jones Newswires; 86-21-6120-1200; [email protected]