CEO Wybcke Meier about the company’s plans for cruise industry domination
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Author: Rebecca Gibson/Tuesday, May 10, 2016/Categories: News, Royal Caribbean
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL) is to sell a 51% stake in Pullmantur and Croisières de France (CDF) to Madrid-based private equity firm Springwater Capital.
Aimed at bringing ‘culturally authentic, best-in-class cruise experiences’ tailored to Spanish and French tourists, the joint venture will see RCCL retaining a 49% stake in both brands and provide marine operations services to Pullmantur and CDF through a management agreement. Although RCCL will retain full ownership of all Pullmantur and CDF ships and aeroplanes, these will be leased to Springwater as part of the joint venture.
“Pullmantur and CDF have a long history of offering authentic, localised cruise vacations to their home markets,” said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of RCCL. “Given the signs of recovery we have seen in the Spanish economy, as well as increased interest in cruising from tourists in France, we think this is the right time to bring together the extensive experience of our deeply valued employees at Pullmantur and CDF with the local travel and tourism expertise of the Springwater team. Springwater’s local management presence in Madrid, coupled with RCCL’s long-standing history in cruise operations, will provide the foundation for improved returns in the future.”
This joint venture expands on RCCL and Springwater’s successful partnership for the Wamos air transport, travel agency, and tour operation businesses. It also expands Springwater’s existing tourism portfolio, which includes airline and travel agency investments in Spain, France and Portugal.
“The transaction leverages our firm’s travel sector expertise, and will take advantage of Pullmantur and CDF’s strong client and travel industry relationships in the Spanish and French markets,” said Martin Gruschka, CEO of Springwater. “These relationships – paired with Royal Caribbean’s cruise management – will create the foundation for a successful, long-term strategic partnership.”
The joint venture is expected to be completed later this year, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
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