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It's Time… HK$5.55 Billion Loan Package To Transform Ocean Park Into The World's Best Marine-Based Theme Park Has Officially Been Initiated First phase of construction to start end of 2006

2006-06-13

(Hong Kong, June 13, 2006) Ocean Park today signed loan documents for a total of HK$5.55 billion to finance its dynamic redevelopment project that is scheduled to begin later this year. The redevelopment project will position Ocean Park as one of the world's premier marine-based theme park. The financing of this initiative includes a HK$4.1625 billion of loan facilities from commercial banks and a HK$1.3875 billion loan from the HKSAR Government.

The commercial loan facilities consist of two tranches: a HK$1.3875 billion, 15-year term loan guaranteed by the HKSAR Government and a HK$2.775 billion 15-year project loan, which includes a revolving facility of HK$0.5 billion.

Earlier this year, Bank of China (Hong Kong), DBS Bank and HSBC were selected as Mandated Lead Arrangers for the commercial loan facilities. General syndication was launched in mid April and closed in early May. The financing attracted a strong interest from the bank market, with 22 domestic and international commercial banks joining the financing and committing a total amount that was more than double the amount on offer.

The success of the Ocean Park financing reflects the strength of its business plan, the quality and experience of its management, strong support from the HKSAR government, OPC' designation as a Public Sector Entity by the HKMA (allowing lenders to attach a more favorable risk weighting to their loan assets) and continuing confidence in the prospects for economic growth in Hong Kong and the surrounding regions.

"The syndicated loan partnership signifies another important milestone for Ocean Park's re-development. We commend and value the support of the HKSAR government to reinforce Ocean Park as a must-see tourist attraction. We are pleased with the progress made so far, such as obtaining government approval for the project, securing our redevelopment sites, and now, having the Environmental Impact Assessment undergo public review. Today's loan signing ceremony fully demonstrates that all is proceeding according to plan," said Allan Zeman, Chairman, Ocean Park.

Construction is slated to start in late 2006. The new Ocean Park will consist of two major areas - The Waterfront, formerly called the Lowland, with three themed zones: Aqua City, which will house the spectacular new Ocean Park Grand Aquarium complex; Birds of Paradise, a lush tropical haven for a wide variety of avian wonders; and Whiskers Harbour, a playful port of call for families where Ocean Park's signature characters will welcome guests. The Summit, formerly called the Headland, will showcase animals and entertainment from four different global climate zones: Marine World, the Rainforest, Thrill Mountain and Polar Adventure. On completion, the total number of attractions will double, from the current 35 to more than 70 distinctive attractions.

Ocean Park will remain open during the entire five-to-six year redevelopment period, with new and exciting attractions introduced regularly to deliver the best in education, conservation and entertainment value to guests.

"For the past 29 years, Ocean Park has delighted, stimulated and created enormous joy for its millions of visitors from around the world. We are proud to see Ocean Park grow into a landmark destination, becoming the pride of Hong Kong as one of the top theme parks in the world. The new Ocean Park will also continue to promote conservation and environmental education. With our "can-do" spirit, all of us at Ocean Park are committed to delivering on our promise to build a world-class, state-of-the-art marine-based theme park, which will position Hong Kong as a global tourist hub. We want all Hong Kong people to be proud of their homegrown Ocean Park," added Allan Zeman.

The redevelopment is expected to bring significant net quantifiable economic benefits of HKD40 to HKD48 billion over the next 40 years and create 11,300 to 12,800 jobs by 2021/22.

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About Ocean Park
Ocean Park is Hong Kong's unique home-grown theme park with a heritage of delivering family fun and fond memories. Since its opening in January 1977 as a non-profit organization, Ocean Park has developed itself to be a world-class attraction connecting people with nature, and recognized for its animal husbandry, research and relationship with the community. Close to 76 million people have visited Hong Kong's premier park since its inception and Ocean Park has remained committed to offer adults and children experiences that blend entertainment with education and conservation.