December 17, 2001
Carnival Corporation yesterday announced the details of a $456 billion proposal to acquire P&O Princess that would torpedo the proposed merger of P&O Princess and Royal Caribbean. The P&O Princess board promptly rejected the offer.
The 456p per share conditional offer, in a mix of cash and shares, represents a 27 per cent premium over P&O's closing price on Friday and a 44 per cent premium over its price before the merger with Royal Caribbean was announced
The Carnival proposal called for the original merger plans being ditched and P&O calling off a shareholders meeting planned for next month to approve the move. The Royal Caribbean Cruises and P&O Princess merger plans include a "poison pill " defense against a possible Carnival move in the form of a $62.5 million break clause and a change of ownership liability - potentially of $200 million.