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Carnival Tops Offers for Celebrity Cruise Line

(Bloomberg News)

Carnival Corp. said it offered to buy Celebrity Cruise Line Inc. for $525 million, topping a $500-million bid from rival Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. a week ago. Carnival said it sent a proposal to two Celebrity stockholders, Chandris Group and Overseas Shipholding Group Inc., offering to pay for the company in either cash or a combination of cash and stock. In its offer, Carnival said intended to keep Celebrity as a separate brand. Royal Caribbean on June 17 offered to acquire Celebrity for a mix of cash and stock. With assumed debt, that transaction was valued at $1.3 billion. It would almost double the number of Royal Caribbean’s ships in three years, to about 20, helping it to compete with industry leader Carnival, which has 25 ships. The announcement of the Carnival bid came after the market’s close. Carnival shares fell 19 cents to close at $43.06. Royal Caribbean shares fell 62.5 cents to close at $36.875. Both trade on the NYSE.


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