NEW YORK -- Richard Fain, who will head the company formed by the
previously reported merger of P&O Princess Cruises and Royal
Caribbean Cruises Ltd., made it clear the new firm would aim to
overtake Carnival Corp. as the world's most profitable cruise
Although the new company, which has not been named but is
informally being called RCP Cruise Lines, will be the industry's
largest in terms of berth capacity, its nearly $6 billion market
value still trails industry leader Carnival Corp., whose market
capitalization totals about $15 billion. Fain, currently Royal
Caribbean's chairman and chief executive officer, will head the new
company under the same title.
Peter Ratcliffe, currently president and chief executive officer
of P&O Princess, will become managing director and chief
operating officer of the combined group. P&O Princess's Nick
Luff will be the chief financial officer. The new company, to be
based in Miami, will have a fleet of 41 ships with about 75,000
berths, and 14 ships on order through 2005.
Under the deal, P&O Princess, the world's third-largest
cruise operator in terms of berth capacity, would hold 50.7% of the
merged group, and Royal Caribbean, the second-largest operator,
will hold 49.3%. The deal is scheduled to close in the second
quarter of 2002 pending regulatory approval.