Renaissance to be Acquired?

Renaissance Cruises may be acquired by a Norwegian group which expects to close a deal with the creditors of Fearnley & Eger this week.

Seattle-based American Seafoods Company will hold a 50 percent interest; Belships Company of Oslo, Norway, 10 percent; Nordic american Shipping Company of Sandefjord, Norway, 20 percent; the Norwegian industrial concern Orkla Borre-Gaard 10 percent; and the Norwegian insurance company Uni Storebrand 10 percent.

It is expected that the new owners would only pay a symbolic price for the cruise line, but that they will have to invest some $20 million for operating funds and to service debt payments, in addition to assuming the company's liabilities.

CIN also learned that unless Renaissance accepts all eight vessels, it will forfeit the subsidized building price of around $20 million per ship and instead have to pay more than $40 million for each.

The group's first action would be to get two of Renaissance's vessels out of arrest and to take delivery of the sixth ship later this month. However, it is unclear what the group's intentions are and whether the new owners would continue to operate Renaissance Cruises. Renaissance executives were unavailable for comment.

Sources said that other offers to acquire Renaissance, including an offer from financier Marvin Davis, had been rejected.

While Renaissance executives have largely been unavailable for comments, Mark Conroy, President, recently distributed a document where he listed alternatives to a bankruptcy. He was also critical of a Norwegian report, the so-called Eikland report, which recommended a bankruptcy solution and the sale of the vessels.

V Ships is presently managing the Renaissance vessels.

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