Genting Hong Kong (GHK), a leading leisure, entertainment and hospitality company that owns Star Cruises and is also a major shareholder in Norwegian Cruise Line, has reached a deal to acquire Crystal Cruises for $550 million from Japan’s Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK).
The deal will allow GHK, which is a public company primarily listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and secondarily on the Singapore Stock Exchange, to expand its foothold in the high-end cruise market.
GHK, that is part of the Malaysian travel and resorts conglomerate Genting Group, will also acquire two of Crystal’s ships – Crystal Symphony that can carry 922 passengers aboard and measures 781 feet in length with a gross tonnage of 51,044, and Crystal Serenity, which accommodates 1070 passengers and is 820 foot long. Both these vessels are among the leaders in the luxury cruise segment.
The two ships alone are valued at $300 million, the company said.
The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015.
GHK is also a significant shareholder in Filipino casino Resorts World Manila.
“Crystal Cruises offers the epitome of luxury cruising and the service standard that all other cruise lines aspire to,” Genting Hong Kong chairman, chief executive and acting president Lim Kok Thay said.
“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,” he added.
The price for the sale was “determined on a cash-free and debt-free basis, translating into an enterprise value to lower berth ratio of approximately $276,000,” Crystal said in a statement.
“The acquisition will enable the group to take advantage of the growing global demand in the luxury brand market and maximize its revenue and profitability potential through the proposed addition of a third new vessel for the Crystal Cruise brand,” the company said in a statement.
It further pointed out that Crystal Cruises had been rated “World’s Best Cruise Ship” for 21 out of 22 years by Condé Nast Traveller since 1992; 19 years out of 19 years as “World’s Best” Large Ship Cruise Line since 1995 and has been named as the “Best Luxury Cruise Line” by Virtuoso in 2014.
“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 chief operating officer, 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,” she added.