LONDON -- P&O Princess' board rejected Carnival Corp.'s latest
bid, saying the price is right for shareholders who want to "cash
out" but not for those with long-term interests.
"The combination with Royal Caribbean offers significant
potential for further value creation," the line said, adding it
questioned both Carnival's commitment to the deal and its claims
that both proposals faced similar regulatory hurdles.
During a subsequent conference call with analysts, P&O
Princess also stressed that the assurances Carnival received from
P&O Princess stockholders to vote to adjourn the Feb. 14
meeting on the merger with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. weren't
Carnival said Feb. 7 it had received notices from holders of
more than 20% of P&O Princess stock that they will vote to
adjourn the meeting in order to give both proposals time to pass
regulatory scrutiny in the U.K. and U.S.
Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean chief executive officer Richard Fain
told P&O Princess shareholders that adjourning the meeting and
delaying a decision on the Royal Caribbean deal might "jeopardize"
"It is not Royal Caribbean's style to make ultimatums," Fain
said in a letter to shareholders. "If you take Carnival's advice
and vote to adjourn the [extraordinary general meeting] next week
-- what will you be left with?
"The current disruption may not yet cause damage to our
business, but that point is close at hand."