Royal Caribbean selling Azamara brand and ships
Cruise ship operator Royal Caribbean Group is selling its Azamara brand, including a fleet of three ships, for $201 million.
The Azamara ships have been occasional visitors to Bermuda. The Azamara Quest is scheduled to make one visit to the island this year. At 593 feet long it is a small enough to berth in Hamilton Harbour, which it is due to visit on November 22 and 23.
The sale follows a separate announcement last week that Royal Caribbean Group had extended its suspension of cruising. Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises, which are part of the group, have cancelled sailings until the end of April – a move that impacts three previously scheduled voyages to Bermuda.
Regarding the sale of Azamara, Richard Fain, chairman and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean Group, said: “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.
“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.”
Royal Caribbean Group said it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell the Azamara brand to private equity firm Sycamore Partners in an all-cash carve-out transaction. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of this year.
Stefan Kaluzny, managing director of Sycamore Partners, said: “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”.
Royal Caribbean Group is one of the major operators with regular cruises sailing to Bermuda. The group also owns Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea.
Royal Caribbean Group said Azamara’s operations will remain consistent under the new management, and the transaction would result in a one-time, non-cash impairment charge of about $170 million. The sale is not expected to have a material impact on the group’s future financial results, it said.