With control of NCL, Star/Carnival ousted its board and installed Statoil chairman Ole Lund as the new NCL chairman. Lund had earlier resigned as Chairman of the Oslo Stock Exchange when it was learned that he had been tapped by Star to head up NCL should its take-over succeed.
P&O to spin-off cruise operation
In a statement, P&O said that P&O
Cruises and the group's U.S. business, Princess Cruises, are
two of the best known brands in the industry. The profits of
P&O's cruises business have been growing at 17% compound
for the last 10 years and its return on capital and other financial
measures are at the forefront of the industry. P&O Cruises
is the U.K'.s foremost cruise company while Princess is the leading
U.S. operator in Alaska, Europe and other key destination trades
and has a powerful and expanding presence in the Caribbean.
With the inclusion of Aida Cruises, Germany's
fastest growing cruise company, and the Group's cruise interests
in Australasia, P&O claims to be the most international
of all the cruise companies. In order to meet continuing strong
demand and further increase cost effectiveness, P&O's cruises
business has 11 ships on order which will double the size of
the fleet over the next five years.
Peter Ratcliffe, currently President of
Princess Cruises and a Main Board Director of P&O, will assume
executive responsibility for P&O's cruises division and will
become Chief Executive of the new company. Lord Sterling will
become Chairman of the new company. Lord Sterling and Sir Bruce
MacPhail will continue as Chairman and Managing Director respectively
of P&O and Tim Harris will continue as Assistant Managing
Director of P&O and Chief Executive of P&O Nedlloyd.
The decision to demerge cruises follows
the Group's progress in focusing on its three core businesses
cruises, ferries and ports particularly since its
strategic announcement in March 1999. With the exception of cruises,
these are now heavily concentrated on logistics and transport
businesses where P&O has a strong position and can achieve
high returns. In 1999 the ferries and ports divisions made excellent
progress, with a return on capital approaching 15%. Ports, ferries
and logistics will be the core businesses for P&O in future
and the key areas for further investment.
P&O is one of the world's leading port
operators with 21 container terminals in 15 countries and interests
in a further 30 ports. The business is growing strongly on the
back of increasing world trade. A number of P&O's port investments
are in a start-up phase and their full potential has yet to be
realised. There are many other locations for further profitable
P&O also has a strong presence in high
value added areas of supply chain management, with a leading
position in the European business-to-business market and in cold
product distribution in Australia and North and South America.
The growth of outsourcing and e-commerce are opening up major
The P&O brand and reputation has been,
and will continue to be, of immense value to these businesses.
P&O is known throughout the world as a provider of a first
class service in its chosen areas of logistics and transport.
This enables the Group to leverage growth by offering vertically
integrated solutions and cross-selling services. Maintaining
these relationships will be of key importance in maximising the
future growth potential of these businesses.
The demerger will be subject to certain approvals and good progress is being made in securing these. It will then be put to stockholders. It is hoped to conclude the process in the fourth quarter of 2000. No further statement will be made until the Group's preliminary announcement of its 1999 results on 16 March.