Cruise operator lists $1.94bn of debt on BSX
Cruise ship operator NCL Corporation Ltd has listed almost $2 billion of debt on the Bermuda Stock Exchange.
The company, which operates Norwegian Cruise Line, is a subsidiary of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd, which raised capital in July to bolster its finances during the prolonged suspension of cruise voyages resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. Its voyages are currently suspended until the end of October.
Norwegian has a targeted cash burn of $160 million per month during the suspension of cruise operations, to cover ongoing ship operating expenses, administrative operating expenses, interest expense, taxes and expected capital expenditures.
On the Bermuda Stock Exchange, NCL listed exchangeable and secured senior notes, with an interest rate of 12.25 per cent on $675 million of the senior secured notes, and six per cent on $862.5 million of the exchangeable senior notes, both due in 2024. There is also $400 million of variable exchangeable senior notes due in 2026.
A debt listing on the Bermuda Stock Exchange by such a major corporation is a sign of Bermuda’s reputation and respected regulation, according to Greg Wojciechowski, president and chief executive officer of the BSX.
He told The Royal Gazette: “This new and exciting listing will help the BSX gain momentum in the international debt listing space.
“As companies struggle out of the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic many will review their immediate capital needs and some will likely look to the international debt markets to assist in their capital requirements. The BSX is excellently positioned to help those companies whose institutional investors require a listing on an internationally recognised stock exchange.”
Mr Wojciechowski added: “Many large institutional investors prefer to invest in securities that are listed on recognised stock exchanges. Historically, international debt deals have sought a listing in Europe or Asia. The BSX sees an immediate opportunity to provide the market with a recognised listing platform in a convenient time zone in the Western Hemisphere.”
He said the BSX is a perfect alternative to the typical “go to” listing platforms, and is seeing increased interest from the US, Europe and Latin and South America.
Walkers (Bermuda) Limited acted as Bermuda counsel for NCL, and Walkers Listing Services (Bermuda) Limited was listing sponsor for the BSX.
Thomas Gallagher, BSX chairman and chairman and CEO of its parent company Miami International Holdings Inc, said: “We are delighted that NCL and Walkers (Bermuda) Limited decided to choose the BSX for such an important listing of NCL’s debt securities recognising the BSX’s global reach, the reputation of Bermuda and BSX’s expertise in the listing of complex debt financing instruments.”
He added: “Since our acquisition of a controlling interest in BSX last year, we’ve seen the BSX continue to establish its place as a global leader among debt and insurance related securities due in large part to the BSX’s innovative and commercial approach to listings like NCL’s senior notes.”
The BSX said it had seen an increase in interest from the global capital markets for an alternative, internationally recognised exchange platform for the listing of international debt instruments.
As of the second quarter, the BSX had more than 1000 listed securities, including investment funds, debt and insurance related securities, as well as small to medium enterprise companies. It also has about 500 listed ILS issuers.
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