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Royal Caribbean’s 10-K filing shows big leak in Oasis of the Seas financing

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On February - 25 - 2009

Cruise industry publication Lloyd’s List has an interesting article on the financial woes of Royal Caribbean’s financing for Oasis of the Seas. Yesterday, the cruise line filed its annual Form 10-K report with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and it divulged that the company has been unsuccessful in attaining the full financing for the Oasis mega-ship set to be delivered in November of this year.

In the report Royal Caribbean stated that it is trying to convince the Finnish export credit agency to increase the guarantee level on the Oasis project from the existing 80%. The 10-K filing states “We are working with the relevant export credit agencies and various financial institutions to obtain committed financing for Oasis of the Seas. This includes exploring opportunities to increase the guarantee level and obtain partial funding support from the relevant export credit agencies.”

Currently, Royal Caribbean’s newbuild ship roster has six vessels. Two of them are for the 5,400-passenger Oasis-class vessels which are set to become the biggest ships ever built. The other four newbuilds are Solstice-class ships for Celebrity cruises. The total price of the six ships is $6.5 billion, of which Royal Caribbean had paid $540 million as of December 31, 2008. Anticipated capital expenditures will be $2.1 billion for 2009, $2.2 billion for 2010, $1 billion for 2011, and $1 billion in 2012.

There’s little doubt that Royal Caribbean won’t be able to get the financing to take delivery of Oasis of the Seas. The big question is: How high will the price of financing be? And ultimately how the high price of financing all these ships will affect Royal Caribbean’s customers?

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