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 legally binding.

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" the merger.

"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."


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