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Royal Caribbean Cruises to Invest in Silversea Cruises

Royal Caribbean Cruises to Invest in Silversea Cruises

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd and Manfredi Lefebvre D’Ovidio, Executive Chairman, Silversea Cruises, have announced an agreement for RCL to acquire a stake in privately-owned Silversea Cruises, bringing together two companies with bold, long-term visions for the cruise industry.

Under the agreement, Royal Caribbean Cruises will acquire a 66.7% equity stake in Silversea Cruises based on an enterprise value of approximately US$2 billion. The purchase price of the equity being acquired is approximately $1 billion. RCL plans to finance the purchase through debt. In addition, Lefebvre will qualify for an estimated contingent consideration of approximately 472,000 RCL shares, payable upon achievement of certain 2019-2020 performance metrics.

“Silversea is a crown jewel, and the acknowledged leader in luxury and expedition cruising, two key markets that are poised for growth,” said Richard Fain, Chairman and Chief Executive, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “Uniting our two companies presents an extraordinary opportunity to expand vacation options for guests and create revenue in strategic growth areas.

“We are proud to welcome aboard Manfredi Lefebvre, a visionary leader whose high standards and history of innovation we deeply respect. Manfredi will remain Executive Chairman of Silversea, continuing to lead its strategy long term.”

“This partnership will bolster the growth of this exceptional brand founded by my father,” said Manfredi. “I have always been kindred spirits with Richard and we share a vision of offering excellence and leadership to our guests. This new partnership gives Silversea the opportunity to accelerate the growth of the most successful luxury and expedition cruising brand in the world.”

The strategic rationale for the partnership includes:
• Driving long-term capacity growth in the burgeoning luxury and expedition segments at a much larger scale than what Silversea would achieve independently
• Diversifying Royal Caribbean’s portfolio and increasing its expedition offerings by adding a premiere ultra-luxury brand
• Leveraging the global footprint of the combined companies to generate demand and increase vacation and destination options for the guests of both companies
• Realising significant synergies related to global market access, supply chain, purchasing power and other economies of scale

Manfredi Lefebvre said he is confident that the significant investment stake he is retaining will sizably increase its value through the growth that this long-term partnership will enable.

Manfredi Lefebvre and Richard Fain also confirmed that Roberto Martinoli, Chief Executive, Silverseas, will continue in his role, working with the existing Silversea management team.

Silversea, with its intimate, all-suite ships, full spectrum of global cruise offerings sailing to more than 1,000 global destinations, and unique luxury expedition vessels, adds a pioneering ultra-luxury brand to RCL’s industry-leading brand line-up. RCL’s largest brand, Royal Caribbean International, is a contemporary brand focused on adventure-seeking families, Celebrity Cruises is a premium brand providing a modern luxury experience to discerning global travellers, and Azamara Club Cruises is a destination-immersive brand offering luxury voyages to unique ports. The company also operates the regional TUI Cruises and Pullmantur brands as part of long-term joint ventures.

The closing is expected to be completed later in the year, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

Regarding 2018, Royal Caribbean reconfirmed its latest adjusted EPS guidance of US$8.70 to $8.90 per share. This updated guidance does not include any potential impact from the transaction, although RCL does not expect the transaction to materially impact on near-term adjusted earnings per share.

Operationally, the company’s forecast for the third and fourth quarters has remained unchanged, but increases in the market price of fuel and the strength of the US dollar are expected to cost the company roughly 25 cents per share. Fortunately, strong close-in demand for core products and better than expected performance below the line is expected to drive improved results for the second quarter. These improved results are expected to completely offset the impact of the FX and fuel headwinds in the second half of the year, which allows the company to maintain its guidance for 2018.

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Michael Flood is the Editor of Ireland's leading travel industry publication, Irish Travel Trade News. With more than 35 years experience, he has accumulated an in-depth knowledge of the airline industry and the travel and tourism world.

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