Fort Lauderdale, FL – January 31, 2008. Regent Seven Seas Cruises (RSSC) today announced that the acquisition of the cruise line by New York-based Apollo Management LP (Apollo) from Minneapolis-based Carlson has been completed. Terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.
“We are pleased to have finalized the acquisition of Regent Seven Seas Cruises and look forward to fueling the growth and continued success of this world-class cruise line,” stated Steve Martinez, partner at Apollo.
Concurrent with the closing of the transaction, the board of Prestige Cruise Holdings, Inc. (PCH), an Apollo subsidiary and parent company of RSSC, announced that it has provided RSSC management the authority to enter formal discussions with shipyards for a newbuild, with a view to placing a firm order during the second half of 2008 for delivery in 2011. While specific details need to be finalized, management’s initial concept for the new ship calls for a vessel of similar dimensions and guest capacity to the 700-guest all-suite, all-balcony Seven Seas Voyager and Seven Seas Mariner, but with larger standard suites, an enhanced spa, more dining venues and expanded dining options.
“PCH is extremely satisfied with RSSC’s current performance in terms of occupancies, yields, profitability, product acceptance and recognition,” said Frank Del Rio, chairman and CEO of PCH. “Given the continued growth of the luxury market, the new ship will allow RSSC to add capacity to meet the anticipated demand, and to offer a more diverse range of deployments to include additional longer, more exotic voyages,” he added.
“These are exciting times for us,” said Mark Conroy, president of RSSC. “Having led our organization since the first year of its operation in 1992, it is personally gratifying to me to see not only how far we have come, but how much further we can go. Adding a new ship to our fleet will reinforce our position as the world’s leading luxury cruise line and enable us to offer our guests and travel agent partners a wealth of new destinations and amenities,” he added.
As previously announced, RSSC and Oceania Cruises will be placed under the ownership of PCH. RSSC in the luxury segment, and Oceania Cruises in the upper premium segment, will remain wholly independent brands. Mark Conroy, along with Bob Binder, president of Oceania Cruises, will report to Frank Del Rio. Apollo’s investment in NCL Corporation will remain a separate holding outside of PCH.
ABOUT APOLLO MANAGEMENT L.P.:
Founded in 1990, Apollo is a leading private equity and capital markets investor with more than 17 years of experience investing across the capital structure of leveraged companies. The firm employs over 140 professionals and has offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Singapore, Frankfurt and Paris. Since its inception, Apollo has managed more than $28 billion of capital across a wide variety of industries both domestically and internationally. The firm’s most recent private equity fund and its co-investment affiliate have capital commitments of approximately $11.6 billion. Investments in the leisure and hospitality industries have included Harrah’s Entertainment (pending), AMC Entertainment, Sirius Satellite Radio, Wyndham International, and Vail Resorts. Apollo is already active in the cruise industry, having invested in the upper premium Oceania Cruises brand in 2007, and in NCL Corporation Ltd (“NCL”), parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line and NCL America . Since investing in Oceania, Apollo has supported the ordering of two new ships worth approximately $1 billion.
ABOUT PRESTIGE CRUISE HOLDINGS, INC.:
Prestige Cruise Holdings (PCH) is a subsidiary of Apollo Management L.P. and the parent corporation of Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Formed in 2007 to manage select assets in Apollo Management’s cruise investment portfolio, PCH is led by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Frank J. Del Rio, the founder of Oceania Cruises. PCH is the market leader in the Upper Premium and Luxury segments of the cruise industry with more than 4,450 berths between the Regent Seven Seas and Oceania Cruises brands, a number the company expects will grow to more than 6,700 berths by 2011.
ABOUT REGENT SEVEN SEAS CRUISES:
Regent Seven Seas CruisesSM (RSSC) operates a fleet of medium-sized luxury cruise ships that visit over 300 ports on all seven continents, including Antarctica. RSSC is consistently rated among the world’s top three cruise lines by readers of luxury travel magazines. Travel professionals worldwide voted RSSC the “World’s Best Luxury Cruise Line” for the third consecutive year as part of the 2006 Travel Weekly Awards and readers of CondÃƒÂ© Nast Traveler magazine voted RSSC “World’s Best Small-Ship Cruise Line” in 2007.