Oceania Is Sold; No Major Changes Expected

February 26, 2007
Oceania Cruises, the three-ship line, has been acquired by Apollo Management, a New York-based private equity fund. The cost? A cool $850 million (as a contrast, Carnival Corporation last week sold its three-ship Windstar; the tab was $100 million).

The good news is that Oceania Cruises will continue to operate with its same management team -- including Frank Del Rio, chairman and chief executive officer, and Bob Binder, its president. The sale does give the cruise line a nice cash infusion; we predict they'll be making an announcement soon about building new ships.

This isn't Apollo's first venture into the travel industry. The company has also invested heavily in hotel organizations such as RockResorts and Wyndham International, along with Miraval, an upscale spa destination.

In a statement, Steve Martinez, a partner at Apollo, noted that "Frank Del Rio has built a world-class cruise company in just a few short years, and we are delighted to have the opportunity to forge this strategic partnership with him and the highly talented management team at Oceania Cruises. We look forward to supporting the company’s growth and success." Indeed, Del Rio, who formerly helmed Renaissance Cruises, launched Oceania in 2002 with a $14 million investment.

--by Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor