Private equity firm L Catterton’s investment in Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. has paid off with a $600 million gain in less than one year, amounting to returns of more than 150%. The cruise ship operator said it has agreed to pay $1.03 billion to buy back bonds that it sold to the private equity firm in May for $400 million. Norwegian has sold around $1.4 billion of shares to finance the purchase, according a filing Tuesday evening. Leftover proceeds will go to general corporate purposes.

Cruise companies have had to issue billions of dollars of shares and bonds to raise money to get them through the Covid-19 crisis, which shuttered the industry and left corporations burning cash.

The notes were structured as exchangeable debt, meaning they could be traded in for equity, and matured in 2026. Norwegian’s shares traded around $16.07 on May 28 when the original sale of the notes closed, compared with $29.73 at Tuesday’s close.


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Source: BNN Bloomberg

By Paula Seligson