Despite a challenging economic era and global marketplace, Royal Caribbean Group (RCL) went "full throttle" this week and purchased all remaining shares of Silversea Cruises, an iconic ultra-luxury brand, which operates both classic and expedition vessels.
The move to full Silversea ownership comes two years after RCL acquired a 67 percent stake in Silversea. That action in July 2018 immediately gave Royal Caribbean Group (at that time called Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.) what it desired: Quick entry into the luxury and expedition cruising segments via a well-known brand that already had ships in the water and a successful operation.
This week, though, Royal Caribbean Group acquired 100 percent ownership by purchasing the remaining one-third stake in Silversea held by Heritage Cruise Holding Ltd. That sale was paid for using 5.2 million shares of Royal Caribbean Group common stock, representing about 2.5 percent of RCL total common stock.
Royal Caribbean Group now completely owns and operates four major brands: Azamara, Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean International and Silversea Cruises.
In addition, Royal Caribbean Group holds a 50 percent stake in TUI Group, which earlier this month completed the purchase of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises, another luxury brand serving both German-speaking and English-speaking markets.
Great Fit for RCL
"Silversea has been a great fit for our company from the very first day," said Richard Fain, Royal Caribbean Group's chairman and CEO. "The cultures of the two organizations have proven to be harmonious and guests have responded favorably to the combination."
Manfredi Lefebvre d'Ovidio, whose father founded the luxury cruise company, will continue as Silversea's chairman, and Roberto Martinoli will remain the brand's president and CEO.
"Manfredi and Roberto have brought a fresh point of view to our company, as well as deep knowledge of their brand's unique audience," Fain said. "Their skills—and Manfredi's inimitable style—will continue to play an important role in growing Silversea into the future."
From Lefebvre's perspective: "The combination of our companies has been everything I hoped for. The skills and resources of Royal Caribbean Group have helped us grow and flourish. We share a vision about the bright future of cruising, and I look forward to being a shareholder in the broader Royal Caribbean Group."
"Thanks to the incredible resources and skills of Royal Caribbean Group, Silversea will grow and thrive," said Martinoli. "Today marks another key step in our drive to uncontested leadership in ultra-luxury and expedition cruising."
Together Royal Caribbean Group operates 63 ships with an additional 16 on order as of July 10, 2020.