P&O Rejects Latest Bid

February 4, 2002
P&O Princess has weighed in on Carnival’s latest attempt to scupper its plans to merge with Royal Caribbean (and acquire the cruise line for itself): Not good enough. Officially, P&O has rejected Carnival’s improved $5.1 billion offer, saying it was still inferior on a financial basis and did not look to garner an easier chance of regulatory approval. P&O also came out and urged shareholders to vote on February 14 for the merger with Royal Caribbean. After this, Carnival’s third attempt to successfully woe P&O Princess, was rejected, Carnival CEO Micky Arison issued a statement which on the surface offers no allusion to a new offer: “The P&O Princess board has once again rejected Carnival's premium offer, in keeping with its past behavior.” However, Arison has obviously not given up entirely; the chief Carnival honcho flew to London this weekend to meet with P&O shareholders.