Barca in strategic tie-up with theme park conglomerate

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MADRID: Amid Catalonia’s ongoing drive for independence, FC Barcelona has reached agreement with Spanish theme park conglomerate Parques Reunidos to open a series of branded leisure and entertainment centres across the world.

The agreement entails the opening of a minimum of five parks during the first five years of the agreement. The project will be carried out around the world and the period of the contract will be five years with an option for another five.

The intention is to locate the centres in sites with high footfall "retailtainment" locations such as shopping areas and malls.

The company has a total of 61 parks distributed in 14 countries, notable ones being USA, United Kingdom, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Dubai, Argentina and Vietnam. 

Their most important acquisitions are: Miami Seaquiarium (2014), Noah’s Ark (2012), Slagharen (2012), Movie Park Germany (2010), Tusenfryd Norway (2008) and Sea Life Park Hawaii (2008). In high season they have a workforce of some 18,000 employees around the world. 

Since 29 April 2016 the company has floated on the stock markets of Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Bilbao.

The parks will be between 3,000 and 10,00 square metres in size and Parques Reunidos will assume 100 per cent of the investment costs for the design of the parks as well as their construction with FC Barcelona not liable for any investment in these areas. Nevertheless, the club will have control over all the content used in the park as well as the application and use of the Barça brand.

On the revenues front, the iconic football club will reportedly retain 8 per cent of all income generated. 

Parques Reunidos has obtained the rights to create the FC Barcelona branded offerings worldwide with the exception of China where the project has been acquired by Mission Hills Group.

The news follows the announcement by Leo Messi Management, MediaPro Exhibitions and Phoenix U-Art of the Messi Experience Park (MEP) set to open in China.