Apollo heads on $1bn Norwegian Cruise

August 2007

Norwegian Cruise Line is set to get a welcome $1 billion boost from the private equity fund, Apollo Management, when the fund becomes half-owner of the cruise line's parent company.

Since Star Cruises bought NCL seven years ago, NCL has built nine ships and turned its fleet into one of the most modern in the business, but according to their president, Colin Veitch, the company's profits have faltered because of a struggling venture in Hawaii and ship-building debt.

Keeping ahead in the cruise game is expensive - an NCL ship set to be delivered in 2009 is costing company $940 million, so Apollo's cash is vital to keeping NCL afloat.

Mr Veitch said of the Apollo investment: "What this does do is de-leverage the company and give it a tremendous amount of liquidity going forward to fund a new building programme."

Apollo already owns a stake in Miami-based Oceania Cruises, and although NCL also has a base in Miami, Apollo partner Steve Martinez said the two branches would be kept separate.

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