Joint Venture to Operate Existing AIDA Cruises Brand and Launch New TUI
Cruises Brand in Germany
MIAMI and HANOVER, Germany, Dec. 15, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Carnival
Corporation & plc (NYSE: CCL; LSE) (NYSE: CUK), the largest cruise vacation
group in the world, and TUI AG (DE: TUAG00), the world's largest tour
operator, today announced the signing of a letter of intent to form a joint
venture company to develop, market and operate two cruise brands - Carnival's
existing AIDA Cruises and a new TUI Cruises brand - both designed for the
German-speaking holiday market.
AIDA, the German affiliate of Costa Crociere S.p.A., is currently the
market leader in Germany with its "club resort" cruise concept aimed at
younger, more active passengers. AIDA currently operates a four-ship fleet,
with four additional ships under construction at Germany's Meyer Werft
shipyard and scheduled for delivery between 2007 and 2010.
Under the proposed joint venture agreement, a new TUI Cruises brand, which
will target a different segment of the German cruise market, will be
developed. It is expected that the first TUI branded ship, with an estimated
3,000 passenger berths, will be delivered in spring of 2010.
The new joint venture company will be managed under the direction of Pier
Luigi Foschi, chairman and CEO of Carnival's Costa Cruises unit, who currently
oversees Carnival's German operations, including AIDA. Michael Thamm,
president of AIDA Cruises, based in Rostock, Germany, will become president of
the new joint venture company.
Under the proposed transaction, TUI will initially purchase five percent
of the joint venture in 2007 and is expected to purchase another 20 percent in
2010. For purposes of this transaction, AIDA's business was valued at
euro 1.9 billion for inclusion in the joint venture, which will be formed with
euro 600 million of indebtedness. The purchase price will be paid to Carnival
in cash at the closing of each transaction based on a net equity value of euro
1.3 billion. When the initial five percent purchase closes in 2007, Carnival
expects to record a pre-tax gain of approximately euro 60 million
($80 million). Another gain will be recorded under U.S. accounting principles
at the time of closing of the subsequent 20 percent purchase in 2010.
Apart from the aforementioned gains, Carnival expects the transaction to
be neutral to earnings on an annualized basis for the 12-month period
following the transaction closing.
"TUI is a highly diversified and experienced company in the European
travel and tourism sector and has extensive brand awareness throughout Europe,
particularly in Germany," said Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation & plc
chairman and CEO. "By combining TUI's strengths with Carnival's tremendous
experience in building, operating and marketing cruise ships, we are creating
an excellent platform for growth in the rapidly expanding German cruise
Added Dr. Michael Frenzel, CEO of TUI AG, "With AIDA Cruises, Carnival has
already set up a successful and profitable model in the German cruise market.
By entering into this joint venture and benefiting from Carnival's unrivaled
expertise, we are able to put the TUI Cruises brand on water. Together, AIDA
and TUI Cruises will provide ideal offers to an even larger potential of
cruise customers in this commercially highly interesting segment."
The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2007 pending
approval of both companies boards of directors, all necessary regulatory
approvals, customary due diligence and the execution of definitive agreements.
About Carnival Corporation & plc
Carnival Corporation & plc is the largest cruise vacation group in the
world, with a portfolio of cruise brands in North America, Europe and
Australia, comprised of Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess
Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, Windstar Cruises, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises,
Cunard Line, Ocean Village, P&O Cruises, Swan Hellenic, and P&O Cruises
Together, these brands operate 81 ships totaling approximately 144,000
lower berths with 18 new ships scheduled to enter service between March 2007
and spring 2010. Carnival Corporation & plc also operates the leading tour
companies in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon, Holland America Tours and Princess
Tours. Traded on both the New York and London Stock Exchanges, Carnival
Corporation & plc is the only group in the world to be included in both the
S&P 500 and the FTSE 100 indices.
Additional information is available on-line at www.carnivalcorp.com and
About TUI AG
The TUI Group is the European market leader in tourism and one of the top
five players in global container shipping. The tour operators of TUI trade in
17 European countries and in 2005 sold the Group's products to around 21
million customers. TUI encompasses all in all about 3,200 travel agencies, 7
airlines with more than 100 aircraft and 35 incoming agencies. Its hotel
portfolio is made up of 279 hotels with approximately 164,000 beds in 30
TUI provides its customers with complete holidays from a single source -
from booking in a TUI travel agency, flights with one of the World of TUI
airlines, accommodation in the Group's own hotels and customer-care by the
Group's own incoming agencies.
Through its wholly owned subsidiary Hapag-Lloyd, headquartered in Hamburg,
Germany, TUI operates one of the world's leading container shipping companies
with more than 140 container ships. Under the brands of Hapag-Lloyd in Germany
and Thomson in the UK, TUI also operates a fleet of nine cruise liners. The
Hapag-Lloyd cruise ship division is the leading "premium and luxury cruise"
tour operator in German-speaking countries. The four cruise liners including
the 5-star-plus "MS Europa" are at home on all the world's oceans.
In the 2005 financial year, more than 60,000 employees achieved a turnover
of more than EUR 19 billion. Over 70 percent of this was generated by the
SOURCE Carnival Corporation & plc
CONTACT: MEDIA CONTACTS, Tim Gallagher of Carnival Corporation & plc
(US), +1-305-599-2600, ext. 16000; or Ruban Yogarajah of Brunswick Group (UK),
+44 (0) 20 7404 5959; or Fabrizia Greppi of Costa Cruises, +39 010 5483.523,
or +39 010 5483.903; or Hansjorg Kunze of AIDA Cruises, +49 381 444 8020; or
Kuzey Alexander Esener of TUI AG, + 49 511 566 1487, or 49 511 566 4569; or
INVESTOR RELATIONS, Beth Roberts of Carnival Corporation & plc,