Russian developer pledges $3.7b for DreamWorks parks

MOSCOW (REUTERS) - Russian developer Regions Group said it planned to invest around US$3 billion (S$3.7 billion) in the construction of three theme parks under a licensing agreement with Dreamworks Animation.

The California-based animation studio behind Shrek may thus become the first Hollywood studio to have theme parks in Russia, which the company said was one of the most important markets for it in the world.

The parks are scheduled to open in 2015 in Moscow, Russia's second-biggest city of St Petersburg, and Yekaterinburg in the Urals, and are expected to be the largest year-round indoor entertainment zones in Europe, Dreamworks said on Friday.

Regions Group will be the sole investor in the project, its co-owner and board member Amiran Mutsoev told a news conference, adding the firm planned to attract loans, primarily from state-run Sberbank and Gazprombank.

Russia's BIN Group said last year it wanted to build a US$2.8 billion theme park in the south of Moscow with the participation of Universal Park & Resorts, a unit of NBCUniversal.

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