Viking, the last major cruise line in private hands, has filed confidentially with the Securities and Exchange Commission in New York for an initial public offering or IPO.

The huge travel company Viking Holdings, which includes the world’s largest river cruise fleet at over 80, 12 ocean ships and two expeditiooln vessels, confirmed it has confidentially filed paperwork for an initial public offering.

Viking was founded by legendary chairman Torstein Hagen in 1997 and operates out of Basel, Switzerland.

It expanded quickly after beginning with Russian river cruises, and is now so large in Europe that it also owns large numbers of landing sites along the major rivers of many countries. At one stage Torstein was entered in the Guinness Book of Records for launching the most ships in one day – an astonishing 16.

The expansion and continued and the ravages of covid led to debts estimated to be about $4.7 billion, according to data reported to be from Bloomberg financial services.

Good time to invest in cruise

Viking Vela
Viking Vela

Cruise company stocks have been rising of late as more passengers take advantage of prices that offer better value than hotels and air travel.

The IPO is expected to occur after the SEC completes a review.

It is not expected to affect the company’s growing presence in the Australia and New Zealand markets, where Viking has become one of the dominant players – particularly in ocean cruising.

The company has an office in Sydney with a staff of over 100 run by cruise veteran Michelle Black. Over seven years of operations, Viking has managed to grow to make this market one of the company’s most important.

The company’s statement says:

Viking Holdings Ltd (“Viking”) today announced that it has confidentially submitted a draft registration statement on Form F-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) relating to the proposed initial public offering of its ordinary shares.

The number of ordinary shares to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined. The initial public offering is expected to occur after the SEC completes its review process, subject to market and other conditions.

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities. Any offers, solicitations or offers to buy, or any sales of securities will be made in accordance with the registration requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). This announcement is being issued in accordance with Rule 135 under the Securities Act.