AURELIUS sells Reederei Peter Deilmann and the DEUTSCHLAND to Callista Private Equity
- New owner to continue growth strategy
- Existing management takes stake in cruise ship
- DEUTSCHLAND set to remain the ‘grand hotel on the high seas’ under the German flag
Munich, January 8, 2014 – The Munich-based AURELIUS Group (ISIN DE000A0JK2A8) is selling its majority interest in MS Deutschland Holding and hence in MS “Deutschland” Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH (“MS Deutschland GmbH”), to which both Reederei Peter Deilmann and the cruise liner DEUTSCHLAND belong. The buyer is Callista Private Equity. The Munich-based private equity firm specializes in the acquisition of majority interests in companies with revenues of between EUR 10 and 200 million, focusing on setting the firms on course for sustainable growth. AURELIUS is to retain a minority interest. The parties have agreed not to reveal the purchase price.
“The acquisition of the legendary DEUTSCHLAND is a great opportunity for us,” comments Olaf Meier, CEO of Callista Private Equity. “AURELIUS has navigated the ship well through stormy waters over recent years. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to continue down the route that has been successfully started.” Under the terms of the transaction, Christopher Nolde, Managing Director of MS Deutschland GmbH, is taking a stake in MS Deutschland Holding as a minority shareholder and will continue to help expedite the strategy that the company is applying and shape the consistent positioning of the DEUTSCHLAND in the luxury segment. “We intend to continue our charm and service offensive and systematically pursue the model of the DEUTSCHLAND as a ‘grand hotel on the high seas’. The ship remains a cult figure,” comments Christopher Nolde, Managing Director of MS Deutschland Beteiligungsgesellschaft mbH. “We generally like the employees to take a stake in our acquisitions,” states Olaf Meier. “This strategy helps to ensure that the targeted growth strategy is successfully implemented.”
Following a period of uncertainty, MS Deutschland GmbH is currently performing well. As of January 6, 2014, the order book shows considerably more preliminary bookings for the current financial year than at the same point in time last year. AURELIUS recently made available to the company a capital package of EUR 10 million, which remains unaffected by the sales of the majority interest and will be used among other things to finance planned investments in the ship. During its regular visit to the shipyard in November of this year, the DEUTSCHLAND will be equipped with French balconies on its upper decks. Callista Private Equity is also intending to inject more liquidity into the firm in order to sustainably support the growth strategy that has been initiated.
AURELIUS had acquired the company in 2010 in difficult waters. By reinforcing the capital base, AURELIUS succeeded in securing the future of the well-known ship from the popular German TV series and bring it back on course for growth following a major investment program. “The ‘Traumschiff’ enjoys an outstanding customer base and strong relationships with its guests,” says Olaf Meier. “The move gives us an outstanding position in the market for luxury cruises.” The small size of the DEUTSCHLAND makes it possible to provide individual itineraries and a personal atmosphere on board. The designation of the ‘grand hotel of the high seas’ will also be reflected in the furnishings and service going forward.