The companies will join know-how and marketing strengths to launch two new Enterprises in the cruise sector and the ferry market
Costa Crociere, the leading Italian and European cruise company, and Attica Enterprises Holdings, one of the larger and leading European ro-pax fast ferry operators, signed a letter of intent to create two joint ventures in cruise and ferry operations.
These two joint ventures, which are still subject to finalisation will be structured as follows:
- Costa Attica Cruises will be the new shipping company, a partnership between the two Companies, which will engage in the cruise market, with itineraries mainly in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.
Expectations are that Costa Attica Cruises will offer superior service and cruise experience that will set a new standard for cruises with home port in Greece.
- Costa Superfast, again a partnership between Attica and Costa, will be the new company operating high quality ferry services mainly in the Western Mediterranean Sea. Two Superfast type new generation ro-pax ferries which will offer an innovative service also thanks to their 28 knots average speed will initially be employed.
"We believe that combining Costa Crociere know-how in the cruise business and Attica Enterprises experience and successful operation in the ferry market will significantly strengthen both companies and will provide enhanced results to shareholders - stated Mr. Pier Luigi Foschi, Chairman and CEO of Costa Crociere Spa. These new initiatives are very timely and are especially positioned to take advantage of the expected full recovery of the cruise business while increasing highly qualified presence in the fast growing ferry sector".
In announcing this deal, Mr. Pericles S. Panagopulos, Chairman of Attica Enterprises Holdings S.A. declared:
"We are very happy to combine forces with Costa Crociere, a member of the Carnival Corporation Group, the largest Cruise Company in the world. We believe that the combined efforts will produce excellent results for our Companies and for our shareholders both in the fast ferry and cruise industries".
Costa Crociere S.p.A., a member of the Carnival Corporation Group (NYSE:CCL), is the number one cruise company in Italy and Europe, with turnover in 2000 of 1,108.4 billion lire (572.44 million Euros), operating the most modern fleet of the continent (8 ships totaling 414,000 gross tonnage with a capacity of over 10,800 berths including Costa Europa which will begin operating in May 2002). Orders have been placed for four new vessels, which will bring the fleet capacity to 9,000 berths by 2004.
Costa Crociere ships operate in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Caribbean and in South America .
Attica Enterprises Holdings S.A. is a Company listed on the Athens Stock Exchange (Reuters EPA.AT), parent company of Superfast Ferries and Blue Star Ferries, owners of a fleet of 21 ships and 8 more under instruction in various shipyards in Greece, Germany and South Korea. In the course of 2000 Atticas ships carried over 3 million passengers and in excess of 750,000 vehicles. Atticas ships operate on routes between Italy and Greece, in the Greek islands, Germany and Finland and soon, in the first half of 2002, between Germany and Sweden and between Scotland and Belgium.
Voula, Wednesday, November 14, 2001