LONDON -- The returns are in, but the fate of a merger between
P&O Princess and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is still
undecided after shareholders here voted to delay a meeting on the
After a marathon vote-counting session that lasted through the
day Feb. 14, the tally showed 62.5% of voting shares favored
adjourning the meeting.
P&O Princess subsequently announced the meeting was
"indefinitely postponed." Shareholders will be given at least 14
days notice in advance of the rescheduled meeting.
The adjournment was a victory for Carnival Corp., the largest
cruise line, which had submitted a hostile bid for P&O
Princess. Carnival had encouraged shareholders to adjourn the
meeting, thereby delaying the vote on the Royal Caribbean deal and
giving shareholders more time to study Carnival's proposal.
Micky Arison, Carnival's chief executive officer, said he was
"delighted" with the adjournment.
"We are committed to giving P&O Princess shareholders the
opportunity to accept our increased offer and we will focus all our
efforts on securing regulatory clearance," Arison said.
But the adjournment was seen as a setback for Royal Caribbean
and the board of P&O Princess, both of which had encouraged
shareholders to vote in favor of a merger since the plan was
announced in November.
Richard Fain, chairman and chief executive officer of Royal
Caribbean, said, "We are obviously disappointed at the outcome of
Fain said Royal Caribbean would consult with its advisor to
determine the implication of the adjournment and its impact on the