Saga ‘exploring’ cruise ship partnership opportunities

Saga today confirmed that that it is considering a “partnership arrangement” for its ocean cruise arm.

The over-50s travel and insurance group issued a statement to the London Stock Exchange this morning in response to a Sky News report which suggested its two ocean cruise ships, Spirit of Adventure and Spirit of Discovery, could be used to raise funds. 

The group was reported to be exploring ways to release money from its ocean cruises division which could involve selling the vessels or offloading the entire business under a licensing arrangement.

The company was said to be working with advisers on a range of potential options, which could also include selling a stake in the division.

Noting recent media coverage, the group said in a statement: “Saga is committed to providing best-in-class products and services to its customers across all its businesses. 

“The board is exploring opportunities to optimise Saga’s operational and strategic position in cruise, where exceptional demand for its boutique ocean cruise offer means it is operating at close to capacity. 

“It has concluded that a partnership arrangement for ocean cruise would be consistent with group strategy to move to a capital-light business model to support further growth and crystalise value, reduce debt and enhance long-term returns for shareholders.

“No decision has yet been made and there can be no certainty that any partnership agreement will occur. 

“A further announcement will be made in due course, as appropriate.”

The company is due to update the City on trading next week.

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