Delta Queen Sold

After four years as the owner of a riverboat company, Delaware North Companies has thrown in the towel and is selling Delta Queen Steamboat Company to Ambassadors International for $3 million m cash and assumption of debt and deposits.

Delaware North had acquired Delta Queen and three of its steamboats in 2002, after the bankruptcy of American Classic Voyages in the fall of 2001. But there were reports that Delta Queen suffered heavier losses than previously indicated from the damage and disruption of travel to New Orleans and on the lower Mississippi by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Ambassador already owns American West Steamboat Company, which has two riverboats, and the former Great American River Journeys, which no longer operates.

The deal calls for payment of $3 million in cash, assumption of approximately $9 million in customer deposits and the assumption of approximately $35 million in debt at a fixed rate of 6.5 percent, payable through 2020, and guaranteed by the U.S. Maritime Administration. So the net payment is $29 million over some 14 years, or some $29,000 per berth.

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