Norwegian Cruise Line Ready for IPO

Having re-filed its registration statement on Jan. 2, 2013, indications are that Norwegian Cruise Line is readying itself for a public offering this year. The company was previously listed on the New York Stock Exchange until it was delisted in 2000 following its acquisition by then Star Cruises, which returned the cruise line to private ownership.

Today, Star Cruises continues to hold a 50 percent interest by its parent company Genting HK, with the investment firms Apollo holding 37.5 percent and TPG holding 12.5 percent.

The prospectus listed total debt at $2.9 billion, debt due to shareholders $207 million, and shareholders’ equity at $2.0 billion for a total capitalization of about $5.1 billion.

Norwegian has not yet announced earnings for the full year 2012, but posted net income of $165 million for the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2012, compared to $126.9 million for the calendar year 2011, $23 million for 2010 and $67 million for 2009 on revenues of $2.3 billion, $2.2 billion, $2.0 billion and $1.9 billion, respectively.

Norwegian has 11 ships with three more under construction, with deliveries in 2013, 2014 and 2015, plus an option for 2017

The prospectus listed Norwegian’s strengths to be its modern fleet, rich stateroom mix, high-quality service, diverse selection of what it called premium itineraries, its Freestyle Cruising concept, established brand recognition, strong cash flow, experienced management team and strong shareholders.

Norwegian also benefits from its casino player strategy, with non-exclusive arrangements with some 90 casino partners worldwide, whereby gaming customers are offered cruise reward certificates for cruises on its ships. Casino players fill the open inventory and contribute above average onboard revenues.

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