Cruise

Royal Caribbean to sell Azamara brand for more than $260m

Royal Caribbean Group has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Azamara brand to private equity firm Sycamore Partners for US$201 million ($261.3 million).

Sycamore will acquire the entire Azamara brand, including its three-ship fleet and associated intellectual property. The transaction is subject to customary conditions and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.

Royal Caribbean Group noted the transaction allows it to focus on expanding its Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea brands.

“Our strategy has evolved into placing more of our resources behind three global brands – Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea – and working to grow them as we emerge from this unprecedented period,” company chairman and CEO Richard Fain said.

“Even so, Azamara remains a strong brand with its own tremendous potential for growth, and Sycamore’s track record demonstrates that they will be good stewards of what the Azamara team has built over the past 13 years.”

Stefan Kaluzny, managing director of Sycamore, said: “We are pleased that Royal Caribbean Group has entrusted Sycamore to support Azamara in its next phase of growth.

“We are excited to partner with the Azamara team and build on their many years of success serving the brand’s loyal customers. We believe Azamara will remain a top choice for discerning travellers as the cruising industry recovers over time.”

According to Royal Caribbean, Azamara’s value proposition and operations will remain consistent under the brand’s new owner, and the group will work in close collaboration on a seamless transition for Azamara employees, customers and other stakeholders.

In conjunction with the transaction, Azamara chief operating officer Carol Cabezas has been appointed president of the brand.

Royal Caribbean said the transaction will result in a one-time, non-cash impairment charge of approximately US$170 million ($221 million), and the group does not expect the sale of Azamara to have a material impact on its future financial results.

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