Reuters Says Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Wants to Buy Regent/Oceania

Reuters, an international news service, is reporting that Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd (NCHL), is in the final stage of negotiations to acquire Prestige Cruise Holdings, parent company of Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises.

NCHL is the world's third largest cruise operator and its Norwegian Cruise Line "Freestyle" brand is a strong competitor in the contemporary segment with Carnival Cruise Lines, owned by Carnival Corporation, and Royal Caribbean International, owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL). Norwegian Getaway, which sails from Miami, is shown above.

However, the "Big Two" own multiple other brands including premium, upper premium and luxury brands. Carnival Corp. operates Seabourn Cruise Line and Cunard Line, while RCCL owns Azamara Club Cruises.

If the deal is successfully completed, Reuters believes the purchase will reportedly be in the $3 billion range. A deal would add the upper premium Oceania product and the highly inclusive luxury Regent product to NCHL arsenal, making it a more formidable competitor with the industry's two largest cruise companies.  

The unnamed sources talking to Reuters said a deal could reached as early as this week. That said, they also acknowledged, negotiations could fall apart.

The parties certainly know each other well as private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC, which owns Prestige Cruise Holdings, also has a 20 percent stake in Norwegian.

Reuters said neither Norwegian nor Prestige representatives responded to its requests for comment. Travel Agent has also reached out, but has not heard back. We'll provide any updates here.  

Here's a link to the complete Reuters story: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/08/31/us-norwegiancruise-prestigecruises-idUSKBN0GV0T720140831

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