Ambassadors International, Inc. announced today that at a hearing on April 19, 2011, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware approved the timeline for the proposed sale by Ambassadors of substantially all of its assets, including its principal operating unit, Windstar Cruises ("Windstar"). The sale is expected to close by May 23, 2011.
Hans Birkholz, CEO of Ambassadors and Windstar, said, “We are thrilled that the court approved our sale timeline, which allows the sale to move quickly as planned. With the sale timeline firmly in place, we look forward to positioning Windstar for long-term profitability and success under new ownership. This is great news for Windstar, and our guests and travel partners can rest assured that Windstar will be providing luxury travel experiences for many years to come.”
As previously announced on April 1, 2011, Ambassadors has entered into an agreement with Whippoorwill Associates, Inc., as agent for its discretionary funds and accounts (“Whippoorwill”) providing for the sale of its assets. Whippoorwill intends to maintain Windstar’s business and operations and invest in Windstar’s growth following the completion of the sale.
The court has already approved requests by Ambassadors to ensure that Windstar continues its normal operations and is sailing as scheduled as it moves forward through the sales process including: maintaining all of Windstar’s programs and policies and honoring all Windstar fares and reservations, including charter contracts; providing commissions and payments to travel partners as usual; and paying employees and crewmembers in the usual manner and continuing their benefits without disruption. Ambassadors continues to expect that Windstar vendors and suppliers for goods and services received both before and during the reorganization process will be paid in connection with the sale.
Under the terms of the agreement, the sale to Whippoorwill is subject to court approval and other specified closing conditions. In compliance with Section 363 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, qualifying bidders will also have an opportunity to submit higher and better offers for evaluation through a court-supervised competitive bidding process. A hearing to consider the sale has been scheduled for May 18, 2011.