Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Pluto met a shower of ketchup and eggs on the steps of the Paris stock exchange Thursday.
The sticky barrage was hurled by about 100 French communist demonstrators seeking to spoil a party organized to announce the offer price of shares in Europe’s Disneyland.
Michael D. Eisner, chairman of Walt Disney Co., who was in Paris to announce the offer price of $11.20 (72 French francs) a share, was also a target for the missiles, along with people dressed up in suits depicting the Disney characters.
The shares are being floated to help finance construction of a new Disney theme park on the outskirts of Paris.
Demonstrators yelling “Mickey go home” and “EuroDisneyland: Dirty Deal of the Century” also showered onlookers with fake $500 bills as Disney executives looked on. No police were present for the unofficial celebration.
Eisner said the demonstration had nothing to do with Disney. “Those people were asking for more money from the government. These local issues are not related to the Disney company.”
“Who could possibly be against Cinderella and Snow White? EuroDisneyland is going to create 12,000 jobs in France,” said Disney’s European chief Robert Fitzpatrick.
Trading Starts Next Month
Plans to celebrate the share launch with dancing in front of the Paris bourse were called off after the demonstration.
The company said the subscription period would open Monday and applications would be accepted up to Oct. 20. The shares will be listed as EuroDisneyland SCA on the Paris, London and Brussels stock exchanges.
A total of 85.88 million shares will be available to European investors, raising $965 million (6.18 billion francs). The British sterling price was set at $11.40 (7.07 pounds) a share. Trading is due to open in London and Paris on Nov. 6.
Analysts said the shares were being quoted at $13.30 (85 francs) in unofficial pre-launch bourse trading in Paris.