Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK) today announced that it has agreed with Germany’s TUI AG (DE: TUAG00) to withdraw its antitrust filings with the German Federal Cartel Agency, Bundeskartellamt, and the Austrian Federal Cartel Agency, Bundeswettbewerbsbehörde. Carnival and TUI had agreed to form a joint venture to develop a new cruise brand for Germany.
Carnival cited an extremely difficult regulatory environment in Germany which makes it impossible to close the proposed joint venture this fiscal year. Failure to do so would create adverse tax consequences for the company that would impact the economics of the transaction. As a result of the regulatory and tax issues Carnival and TUI have agreed not to proceed with the proposed joint venture but will continue to explore other opportunities.
Carnival will continue to grow its presence in Germany organically through new ship construction for its successful AIDA and Costa brands, as well as through Cunard Line whose Queen Mary 2 will operate a series of trans-Atlantic crossings from Hamburg in 2008.
Carnival Corporation & plc is the largest cruise vacation group in the world, with a portfolio of cruise brands in North America, Europe and Australia, comprised of Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Ocean Village, P&O Cruises and P&O Cruises Australia.
Together, these brands operate 82 ships totaling 154,000 lower berths with 17 new ships scheduled to enter service between December 2007 and June 2011. Carnival Corporation & plc also operates Holland America Tours and Princess Tours, the leading tour companies in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon. Traded on both the New York and London Stock Exchanges, Carnival Corporation & plc is the only group in the world to be included in both the S&P 500 and the FTSE 100 indices.