Regent-Apollo not a done deal, information service says

A merger-and-acquisition information service withdrew a report that Apollo Management LP had won an auction to acquire Regent Seven Seas Cruises from Carlson Cos. for $1 billion.

But Mergermarket's change in the deal's status, coming amid growing buzz about the alleged deal in the consumer and trade press, seemed unlikely to dampen speculation about the acquisition or about Apollo's cruise industry ambitions.

Mergermarket first released word of the deal to, a finance-industry Web site, which in turn published it on Oct. 29, stoking a round of speculative news reports. Mergermarket later said it had jumped the gun with the report.

Mo Hersi, research manager at Mergermarket, said the service would reclassify the deal as "pending," adding that its "announced deal" status would be withdrawn from reports to clients and the public.

Hersi said Mergermarket based its reporting on company announcements and "proprietary intelligence" gleaned from bankers and industry insiders, but he noted that it generally did not report unannounced deals.

He suggested that in the case of an auction, a winning bidder could emerge but might need to gather additional due diligence before striking a formal purchase agreement that would constitute an "announced deal."

Officials at Carlson and Regent would neither confirm nor deny that a deal was in the works.

"We cannot comment on market speculation," said Sam Macalus, corporate media spokesperson at Carlson Cos. Meanwhile, Adam Aron, the travel consultant to Apollo, said, "I can't say a word." Richard Jansen, managing director and global head of the Cruise & Ferry Group at DVB Bank, which the report said was financing the deal, also declined to comment.

To contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to [email protected].


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