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Royal Caribbean Cuts Director Term to One Year, Doubles Dividend

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Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) -- 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.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Palmeri in Los Angeles at cpalmeri1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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