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Royal Caribbean Cuts Director Term to One Year, Doubles Dividend

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., under pressure from its largest shareholder, doubled its dividend and will make directors stand for election every year.

The world’s second-largest cruise-line operator after Carnival Corp. also elected William L. Kimsey as its lead director. Kimsey is the former chief executive officer of accountants Ernst & Young Global Ltd.

“I am pleased by the steps our board has taken to further enhance our corporate governance, and I look forward to working with my fellow directors and management to improve shareholder value,” Kimsey said yesterday in a statement.

The board of the Miami-based company increased its quarterly dividend to 25 cents from 12 cents, payable Oct. 8.

A. Wilhelmsen AS, the Oslo-based owner of a 19 percent stake in the cruise line, said in May that it was supporting a shareholder proposal to make directors stand for election every year. The proposal passed.

Staggered terms for boards are a hurdle to activist investors because they require a multiyear effort to make changes. Directors at the company previously served three-year terms, with no more than four standing for election at a time.

Royal Caribbean rose 1.3 percent to $38.72 yesterday at the New York close. The shares were little changed in extended trading after the announcement.

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