Calif. -- Ambassadors International agreed to acquire Seattle-based
American West Steamboat Co. from Oregon Rail Holdings.
agreement Ambassadors Cruise Group, a newly created division of
Ambassadors International, will pay $1 for 100% of the shares of
American West. In addition, Ambassadors will pay $4.3 million of
American Wests outstanding debt and assume $41.5 million in
long-term, fixed-rate debt. Ambassadors will also throw in 250,000
shares of Ambassadors International, subject to forfeiture if
American West doesnt meet certain financial goals.
former executive vice president of marketing and sales at Holland
America Line, will lead the new cruise division at Ambassadors as
president and COO. Most of American Wests staff is expected to stay
on, according to Ambassadors president and CEO, Joe
The sale is
expected to close in January, pending approval of debt covenant
amendments by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation.
The new operation
is expected to bring an additional $41 million in revenue to
Ambassadors, according to Brian Schaefgen, Ambassadors
The company will
operate its 2006 schedule as previously published and will look to
make innovative itinerary changes in 2007.
Founded in 1995,
American West Steamboat Co. operates historical and nature-oriented
cruises on the Columbia and Snake rivers, Alaskas Inside Passage
and Puget Sound. It operates two modernized replicas of historic
sternwheeler ships, the 231-passenger Empress of the North and the
150-passenger Queen of the West.
Ambassadors is looking for complementary acquisitions in the niche
reporter David Cogswell, send e-mail to [email protected].