Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL) said it will sell a 51% stake in its Pullmantur and Croisieres de France (CDF) brands to a Madrid-based private equity fund.

Pullmantur and CDF cater to the Spanish and French markets, respectively.

RCCL will form a joint venture with Springwater Capital, the new majority owner of the two lines. RCCL will retain ownership of the ships and planes currently used by Pullmantur and CDF and will lease them to the joint venture. It will also handle marine operations under a contract.

RCCL said the deal expands on the current partnership with Springwater for the Wamos air transport, travel agency and tour operation businesses. Springwater has airline and travel agency investments in Spain, France and Portugal, the companies said.

RCCL already has a separate European joint venture with TUI AG to run TUI Cruises, which is aimed at the German-speaking market. All three European brands use some older ships that previously sailed for Royal Caribbean International or Celebrity Cruises.  

RCCL Chairman Richard Fain said Springwater's local management presence in Madrid coupled with RCCL's history in cruise operations will provide the foundation for improved returns for the brands. 

The sale, for an undisclosed price, will result in an immaterial gain, RCCL said.


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