2001 Maritime

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December 17, 2001

Cruise line takeover battle looms
The scene is set for another takeover battle between cruise giants.

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.

To follow this one as it happens, keep checking Carnival's investor site and the P&O Princess site.