Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) is to acquire a 67% stake in privately owned luxury and expedition cruise operator Silversea Cruises.
Under to agreement, RCL will purchase a 66.7% stake of Silversea for around US$1 billion based on an enterprise value of approximately US$2 billion. Silversea owner Manfredi Lefebvre D'Ovidio will retain the remaining shares in Silversea and continue his role as the company’s executive chairman. He will also qualify for an estimated contingent consideration of around 472,000 RCL shares, payable upon achievement of certain 2019-2020 performance metrics.
Silversea currently operates four expedition ships and five classic cruise vessels and will welcome Silver Moon and Silver Dawn in 2020 and 2021. The line also has an option for a third sister ship. The acquisition will enable Silversea to drive long-term capacity growth in the luxury and expedition markets at a much larger scale than it would have been able to achieve independently. Meanwhile, RCL will be able to expand into the ultra-luxury and expedition sectors.
“This partnership will bolster the growth of this exceptional brand founded by my father,” said Lefebvre. “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.”
Both RCL and Silversea will be able to offer more itineraries and destination options to guests, which will help to generate more passenger demand. In addition, the companies will benefit from economies of scale when it comes to global market access, supply chain, purchasing power and more.
“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 CEO of RCL. “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.”
Silversea’s current management team and CEO Roberto Martinoli will all retain their positions.
The deal is set to be finalised later this year, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.