Royal Caribbean to buy majority stake in Silversea Cruises

From left: Silversea's Manfredi Lefebvre and Royal Caribbean Cruises' Richard D. Fain

Royal Caribbean Cruises announced last Thursday that it would buy a 66.7 per cent stake in privately-owned Silversea Cruises for about US$1 billion to add ultra-luxury and expedition cruises to its fleet.

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

From left: Silversea’s Manfredi Lefebvre and Royal Caribbean Cruises’ Richard D. Fain

The strategic rationale for the partnership includes driving long-term capacity growth in the burgeoning luxury and expedition markets at a much larger scale than what Silversea would achieve independently.

It also allows Royal Caribbean to diversify its portfolio and increase its expedition offerings. The partnership will also leverage on the global footprint of both companies to generate demand and increase vacation and destination options for guests.

Fain added: “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.”

In addition, Lefebvre and Fain have also confirmed that Silversea’s CEO Roberto Martinoli will continue in his role, working with the existing Silversea management team.

Including debt, the deal is valued at US$2 billion. Royal Caribbean said it plans to finance the purchase through debt.

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

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