Genting buys Crystal Cruises, will add newbuild to fleet

Crystal Cruises current two ship fleet includes Crystal Symphony and larger Crystal Serenity Crystal Cruises current two ship fleet includes Crystal Symphony and larger Crystal Serenity

MARCH 3, 2015 — Genting Hong Kong (GHK), the owner of Star Cruises and a major shareholder in Norwegian Cruise Lines, is buying two ship luxury cruise line Crystal Cruises, Inc. and will add a newbuild cruise ship to its fleet.

The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015.

Crystal Cruises is wholly owned by Japan's Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK). In a notice to shareholders, NYK says it projects sales gains from the deal of JPY 26.1 billion and says the sales price is based on an enterprise value of $550 million.

Crystal Cruises' two ships — Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity — have a combined capacity of approximately 1,992 lower berths and the consideration has been determined on a cash-free and debt-free basis, translating into an enterprise value to lower berth ratio of approximately $276,000.

Crystal Symphony was delivered from what was then Kværner Masa-Yards Turku New Shipyard, Finland (now Meyer Turku) in 1995 and Crystal Serenity was delivered by shipbuilder STX France in 2003.

"Crystal Cruises offers the epitome of luxury cruising and the service standard which all other cruise lines aspire to," said Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, Chairman, CEO and Acting President of GHK. "The current management team and crew will continue to lead Crystal Cruises. Genting will provide financial resources and proven expertise in innovative ship design to build a new ship that will set the highest standard in luxury cruise ships. This new ship, together with Crystal's legendary six-star service, will reinforce Crystal Cruises' reputation as the world's leading luxury cruise line for decades to come."

"After 25 successful years with NYK, we are excited to have Genting Hong Kong as the new owner of Crystal Cruises," said Edie Rodriguez, President and COO of Crystal Cruises. "The proposed expansion of our fleet will present our loyal Crystal Society members and new luxury cruise guests with more itinerary options, accommodation choices and exceptional vacation experiences, as we continue to position Crystal as the innovative leader in global luxury cruising. Additionally, Crystal's veteran leadership, management and crew will continue to focus on our award-winning guest service and our strong partnership with the travel agent community - which now has a greater opportunity to grow their business with a larger menu of Crystal product offerings."

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