CLIA Attempting MHA Takeover

MHA LogoThe Marine Hotel Association (MHA) and the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore a potential merger of the two organizations.

Members of the MHA received a letter advising them of the MOU at the start of 32nd annual MHA conference and trade show being held this week in Naples, Florida.

According to a letter, CLIA’s stated goal “is to bring the MHA into CLIA to best utilize MHA’s experience and resources in order to further the cruise industry, its suppliers and its guests. Altogether concerned about losing the ‘MHA brand’ the MHA board has agreed to explore this possible transaction, signing a Memorandum of Understanding.”

The MHA went on to say: “A Memorandum of Understanding is not a contract, it’s a blueprint of a possible transaction and what it may look like. It also provides for an orderly process of information gathering. In this regard the MHA and CLIA MOU provides for a 120 day due diligence period. This allows the MHA to request documents and examine CLIA documents to ensure any such merger would be in fact in the best interest of the MHA membership.”

According to the MHA, the due diligence runs until May 25, thereafter the MHA counsel will prepare an executive summary and be presented to the board of directors and the general membership.

A vote by the MHA membership at large would be the final action before any legal change could be effected.

Members on the trade show floor familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified described the proposed merger as “an attempt at a hostile takeover.”

Their concern is that if the merger takes place the MHA will cease to exist.

MHA membership is $500 for any vendor, while CLIA memberships start at $10,000.

Read a preview of MHA’s 32nd annual conference here.

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