As expected, Carnival Corp. met today's deadline and upped its bid for P&O Princess Cruises. The company is now offering $5.0 billion (its initial bid was $4.6 billion) -- an increase of 12 percent.
And while news reports out of London say that the new bid is high enough to raise the interest of previously dispassionate P&O shareholders, there's a wrinkle in Carnival’s bid: its new conditionary requirement that P&O could back out of a Southern Europe expansion project, and pay no penalty, that is part of the deal with Royal Caribbean.
The next major calendar deadline for this cruise triangle? Valentine’s Day -- February 14 -- when P&O shareholders officially vote on which deal they prefer. Expect lots of arrow-slinging in the meantime.