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Celestyal Cruises set for expansion with private equity investment

A public equity firm is to make a “strategic investment” for an undisclosed amount in Celestyal Cruises and its Cyprus-based owner Louis Group.

The deal has been agreed with Searchlight Capital Partners which will see investment made into a new holding company called Celestyal Holdings.

This will enable Celestyal Cruises to expand and renew its two-ship fleet.

The line will continue to operate its fleet from its base in Piraeus, Greece with its current global management team leading the business.

The Louis Group will continue as a shareholder in the new holding company.

Celestyal Cruises’ chief executive Chris Theophilides said: “Prior to the pandemic, Celestyal was on a fast growth trajectory, and Searchlight’s infusion of capital will propel our growth strategy and accelerate our fleet renewal plan.

“We are extremely pleased to have Searchlight as a strategic partner and are eager to join forces with them to build on our positive momentum, amplify our global brand awareness and elevate our award-winning guest experience, taking it to new heights.

“Our 2022 season is already looking solid and with this significant development, we are extremely excited about Celestyal’s journey ahead.”

Searchlight partner Ralf Ackermann added: “The cruise industry has shown a tremendous amount of resilience coming out of the pandemic, and as Greece’s major, home-porting cruise line, Celestyal has played a pivotal role in the country’s strong tourism recovery.

“We are excited to support Chris and his management team and to work with the Louis Group to be involved in the next chapter of Celestyal’s growth.

“We believe this partnership will help to reinforce the company’s position as the leading cruise operator in the Eastern Mediterranean region and enhance its uniquely authentic experiences and operating footprint.”

Louis Group executive chairman Costakis Loizou said: “Celestyal Cruises has always been a strong and robust regional expert, and a key component of our tourism portfolio.

“With the added financial resources of Searchlight, Celestyal is destined for an even brighter future, and we look forward to being part of realising Celestyal’s full potential.”

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