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Norwegian Cruise Line Files for $424 Million IPO in U.S.

Norwegian Cruise Line Files for IPO to Raise $424 Million
Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Epic ship sits docked at Pier 88 in New York. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., the cruise line operator whose owners include Apollo Global Management LLC, filed for an initial public offering in the U.S. that may raise as much as $424 million.

The company is offering 23.5 million shares at $16 to $18 each, a regulatory filing today shows. The midpoint of the range values the Miami-based company at $3.41 billion, or more than 20 times earnings in the 12 months through Sept. 30.

That compares with about 17 times earnings for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and 23 times for Carnival Corp., both listed as competitors in Norwegian’s prospectus. Norwegian is pursuing the offering after the year-end global backlog of possible offerings in 2012 swelled to the largest since 2007, data compiled by Bloomberg and Ipreo show.

Norwegian is offering about 12 percent of its shares in the sale, and the proceeds will be used to redeem or prepay outstanding debt, the filing shows. The sale is scheduled for Jan. 17, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Apollo and other existing owners Genting Hong Kong Ltd. and TPG Capital aren’t selling stock in the IPO, according to the filing.

The company, led by Chief Executive Officer Kevin Sheehan, operates a fleet of almost a dozen ships and plans to expand with several more over the next few years, according to the filing. Norwegian generated $2.26 billion in revenue in the 12 months through September operating trips to destinations including Europe, Alaska, Bermuda and Hawaii.

Corporate History

The company previously filed in October 2010 for a $250 million IPO, before scrapping the plans in July 2011, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

The Norwegian brand began operating almost 50 years ago, offering cruises to the Caribbean, according to its website. In January 2008, Apollo and TPG took control of 50 percent of the cruise operator, paying $1 billion to existing shareholder Star Cruises Ltd., the filing shows. Genting Hong Kong Ltd. controls the Star Cruises business and owns the rest of Norwegian.

After the IPO, Genting, Apollo and TPG will together own about 88 percent of the company’s ordinary shares, according to the filing. UBS AG, Barclays Plc, Citigroup Inc., Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. are managing the sale, the filing shows.

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