Thursday, August 31, 2006

Royal Caribbean announces a deal to buy Spanish cruise line Pullmantur

Posted on Thu, Aug. 31, 2006

Royal Caribbean announces a deal to buy Spanish cruise line Pullmantur

Miami-based Royal Caribbean Cruises plans to increase its presence in
Europe and Latin America with the purchase of a Spanish cruise line.

Royal Caribbean said this morning that it will buy Pullmantur for $897
million, giving it five additional ships with capacity for more than
4,500 passengers.

Founded in 1971, Madrid-based Pullmantur employs about 2,600 people and
targets both Europeans and Latin Americans.

The privately-held cruise line gets roughly two-thirds of its revenues
from cruising and the remainder from its tour operations, said Robin
Farley, an analyst at UBS in New York.

Pullmantur, which will keeps its name, also gives Royal Caribbean its
first wholly-owned European brand.

In the past several years, the Miami company has been deploying an
increasing number of ships under its namesake Royal Caribbean and
Celebrity brands to Europe and Latin America to take advantage of growth
in the worldwide cruising market.

Royal Caribbean said it will buy all of the capital stock of Pullmantur
for $551 million, plus its debt of $346 million. It expects the deal to
be completed by the fourth quarter of this year. The company also said
Pullmantur will be withdrawing from all Cuba-related activities before
the deal closes.

Royal Caribbean is the world's second-largest cruise operator with 29
ships and six more under construction.

Miami-based Carnival Corp. is the world's largest cruise operator with
81 ships and 15 on order. It has four British lines -- P&O Cruises,
Cunard, Ocean Village and Swan Hellenic -- as well as P&O Cruises
Australia, AIDA in Germany, and Italy-based Costa Crociere.

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