Norwegian Cruise Line Parent Company to Launch IPO

NCL Corporation Ltd. applies to US securities commission to go public with shares totalling up to $250 million.

Norwegian Cruise Line may soon become a public company. Its parent company, NCL Corporation Ltd., has filed an S-1 registration with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, meaning that it wants to go public with an initial offering of up to $250 million in shares. As reported, the cruise line ordered two mega-vessels this week for delivery in 2013 and 2014, boosting the company’s capacity by more than 30%.

The IPO would raise money to help fund capital expenditures. Known to be a smaller fish among the much larger North American cruise companies Carnival Corp and Royal Caribbean Cruises, which are both public companies, Norwegian Cruise Line has seen almost all of its top execs replaced since Apollo, private equity firm, bought a 37.5% stake at the start of 2008.

The new management team led by Kevin Sheehan, formerly a major figure in the expansive holding company Cendant Corporation, has turned around the company’s fortunes by cutting loss-making cruises in Hawaii from three ships to one and cancelling an order for a second ship of two to be built by STX Europe (previously Aker Yards) in Saint-Nazaire, France. Norwegian Cruise Line has also aggressively expanded its direct-to-consumer sales business. Its share in total ticket revenues has increased from little over 13% in 2007 to 27% today.

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