Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Regent Seven Seas - Wall Street Journal Reports An IPO May Be In Its Immediate Future

There was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal MarketBeat today discussing the amount of money which has recently come available in the junk bond market.  It noted, "The Leveraged Commentary & Data people at Standard & Poor’s are tracking several more issuers trolling the market today, including Regent Seven Seas..."

This is not the first time there was discussion about spinning off Regent Seven Seas, thought it does seem a bit odd if it would only be Regent Seven Seas and not Oceania Cruises as well.  As I previously have written Oceania has pretty much taken over most operational aspects of Regent Seven Seas, so I am not sure what the Initial Public Offering would be, well, offering.  Might it be three ships, the good will of the name and a very large and expensive management contract benefiting Prestige Cruise Holdings and/or Oceania Cruises?

With it recently being announced that Regent Seven Seas is no longer "free", "free", "free" equally across the board, but more "free" for those that pay extra and it announced it would be spending approximately $20,000,000 per ship starting in October to replace carpets, curtains and balcony furniture as well as alter the restaurants in some undisclosed fashion, I have to wonder what the positive direction of the cruise line is.

Seriously, I am not sure how "free" alternative dining and shore excursions are when you have to pay extra in order to assure you get them (priority selections go only to the new Concierge level guests).  And, while cheapening the product while raising the prices to have the same level of service one used to have (penalizing those that don't pay yet more by purchasing more expensive suites), Mark Conroy speaks of the possibility of another ship.

I dunno, I am not so sure I would want to invest in that sort of this (the Oceania-fication of Regent Seven Seas) on the one hand, the efforts to boost sales volume by undercutting the product for those that won't willingly pay yet more and then seeking out funds to refurbish ships and then buy a new one...maybe. 

It is starting to sound a bit to all-over-the-place for my liking.