Carnival Corporation is reportedly in the early stages of a plan to sell its luxury cruise brand Seabourn to the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, according to a report from CNBC.
Citing “people familiar with the situation,” the story by reporter Seema Mody claims that talks between the two parties are ongoing, noting how the potential deal would give the Saudis a “stronger footprint in the cruise industry” as travel rebounds across the Middle East.
Both Carnival and the Saudi fund, also known as the Public Investment Fund, have not yet commented on the acquisition.
The price tag hasn’t been shared either and it appears that Carnival isn’t really up to talking about it just yet.
In an email sent to Cruise Industry News on Tuesday, a spokesperson for Carnival Corporation said: "We don't comment on rumour and speculation."
But the two parties already have an established relationship – the Saudi Public Investment Fund took a stake in Carnival when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020. It currently has a 5.1 per cent stake in Carnival, according to FactSet.
The development comes less than a week after Carnival raised more than $1 billion in the debt market at a yield of 10 per cent.
Seabourn first came to market in 1988 and operates six ships in destinations that span from Antarctica to the Middle East to the Caribbean.