NCL In Talks With Singapore's Star Cruises

Friday, December 10, 1999
One week after spurning an offer from industry leader Carnival Cruise Lines, Norwegian cruise ships operator NCL Holding ASA is in talks with Singapore's Star Cruises Plc. Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line, the world's fourth-largest cruise operator, had rejected Carnival's 30 Norwegian crowns-a-share offer ($3.77) as too low and hinted rival takeover bids might surface. But NCL said it was not clear whether Star, the leading Asia-Pacific cruise line, would prove its savior. "Further information will be given if NCL receives a concrete bid from Star Cruises," NCL said. Carnival immediately challenged Star to come up with a better offer than its own made last week, which valued NCL at $884 million, or $1.7 billion with assumption of debt. Carnival spokesman Tim Gallagher said that the company was ready to sell its 4.3 million shares in NCL to any buyer willing to top its own offer, echoing similar comments made by Chairman Micky Arison. "It appears that what NCL is saying is that there is not an offer on the table," said Gallagher. "We do have an offer on the table, and, if someone comes along with a better offer, we'll tender our shares." However, Carnival shares were down $1-3/16 to $49-3/8 in U.S. trading, while American Depositary Receipts of NCL were up $1 at a year-high of $17-7/16, and NCL shares in Oslo closed at 34.90 crowns. Analysts' reaction was mixed, although most said that a marriage with Carnival would reap larger costs synergies. Star would gain the best advantages by immediately getting a strong foothold in the North American market, they said. "Star is an Asian operator and has a different profile of customers. You could not generate the same sort of cost synergies as would be available with Carnival," said one Oslo-based analyst. NCL said last week that in addition to Carnival, the world's largest cruise operator, two other cruise companies were "very interested" in it. It gave no names. Britain's P&O and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. have said they did not plan a counter bid. Star Cruises says it will have a fleet of 12 vessels by 2005 and is among the world's top five operators. NCL Chairman Kristian Siem said last week that it would be a waste of time even to discuss the bid with Carnival. Carnival has said that it has no plans to raise the bid. Brokerage Pareto Fonds in Oslo said NCL shares could reach 75 to 100 crowns in the next two to three years, based on a strong recovery in earnings resulting from increased capacity and a pricing in line with peer operators. Analyst Per Didrik Leivdal said Carnival's offer was far too low. He said a link with NCL had much higher strategic value to Star than for Carnival. "Star can pay more. For Star it is an interesting strategic move. It's probably the last entry point into the North American market," Leivdal said.

Cruise Ship Trends

Lucas Marine, Harbor Breeze Cruises Partner to Cut Fuel Costs

Lucas Marine is partnering with Harbor Breeze Corporation to help reduce the yacht charter and cruise company's fuel costs, maintenance and environmental impact in Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbors.

Pods Versus Water Lubricated Props

Thordon Bearings has called on the marine industry to investigate the characteristics of both conventional seawater-lubricated propeller shaft systems and podded

Grand Bahama Shipyard Adds Four Executives

Grand Bahama Shipyard Limited (GBSL), a Caribbean shipyard providing retrofit, refurbishment and revitalization to cruise and commercial vessels, has added four

Tanker Trends

Big Tankers' Need for Retrofit Slows Use of New Panama Canal

The promise that some oil traders and brokers saw for an expanded Panama Canal to become a new route for large tankers will take longer to realize than expected

Pressure Mounting on VLGCs Rates - Drewry

A wave of cargo cancellations from the US is putting additional pressure on VLGC rates, according to the latest edition of the LPG Forecaster, published by global shipping consultancy Drewry.

Russian Tanker Detained in Malaysia

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) detained a Russian oil tanker Zolotoi Most along with 25 crew members for anchoring off Tanjung Piai without authorization,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Navigation Offshore Oil Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.0684 sec (15 req/sec)