The Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co.
(P&O) and Festival Cruises have agreed, subject to contract, to join together in the expansion of the global cruise business. Festival will join P&O Cruises
, Princess Cruises and Germany's Aida Cruises, positioning it as the world's most international cruise company.
Included in the merger is Festival's existing fleet of four vessels, a newbuilding program, which is currently underway in France and its pan-European sales and marketing network of subsidiaries in 10 countries.
P&O is expected to merge with Festival through a mixture of cash and shares, which will depend partly on future results. With strong profits, this would have a value of up to $400 million.