Searchlight Capital Partners takes majority stake in Celestyal Cruises


Searchlight Capital Partners has taken a majority stake in Celestyal Cruises for around €30 million.

Parent company, Louis Group, said the infusion of cash would allow the line, which sails the Greek islands and eastern Mediterranean, to rebound from the Covid-19 pandemic.

As part of the partnership, Searchlight will make an investment into a new holding company, Celestyal Holdings.

This will enable Celestyal Cruises to “amplify its brand globally, build upon its success to-date and expand its operational footprint whilst growing and renewing its fleet”, a statement said.

Celestyal Cruises will continue to operate its fleet of two ships from its offices 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.

“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,” said Celestyal Cruises chief executive, Chris Theophilides.

“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.”

Searchlight will also provide a revolving €10 million credit facility to the line.

“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,” said Searchlight partner, Ralf Ackermann.

“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.”





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