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McClatchy-Tribune  09/03/2014 12:01 AM ET
Norwegian to acquire Prestige Cruises in $3 billion deal [Sun Sentinel :: ]

Sept. 03--Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is expanding its cruise portfolio with the acquisition of Prestige Cruises International Inc., the operator of Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

On Tuesday, the company, which operates as Norwegian Cruise Line announced it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Prestige in a $3 billion cash and stock deal, including the assumption of debt.

Miami-based Prestige operates eight ships across the two brands, which cater to affluent and experienced travelers and enjoy high repeat guest rates.

Plans call for keeping the cruise lines as individual brands.

"They are three great companies and they're doing well in their own business models," Norwegian CEO Kevin Sheehan told the Sun Sentinel Tuesday. "Each one has had significant success."

The acquisition will expand its market presence and also provide new opportunities for cross-selling, collaboration and business support across the three brands, among other financial benefits, Sheehan said.

Oceania's five ships operate in the upper-premium cruise category and offer destination-oriented cruises to more than 300 ports worldwide. The line's ships include the 684-guest Insignia and the 1,250-passenger Riviera.

Regent's three all-suite ships -- Navigator, Voyager and Mariner -- accommodate 490 to 700 passengers and offer luxury all-inclusive voyages to more than 250 global destinations.

Norwegian, which has 13 ships, caters to multigenerational travelers. Its ships' capacities range between 2,000 and 4,000 guests.

"There's no overlap as Norwegian doesn't offer luxury or premium cruise ships so the brands will continue to operate in their respective markets offering consumers very different experiences," said Stewart Chiron, CEO of Miami-based CruiseGuy.com. "Consumers should not see any impacts."

The Regent acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Norwegian shares rose $3.68 or 11 percent to $36.99 in NASDAQ trading Tuesday.

asatchell@sunsentinel.com, 954-356-4209 or Twitter@TheSatchreport.

 

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