Entrepreneur and Virgin chairman Sir Richard Branson is said to be adding competition in the market with a new cruise line.
An insider told Sky News that Branson is in the midst of drawing up plans for his latest venture and has even appointed a US-based corporate advisory firm, Allen & Co, to assist in development.
Expected to be named, Virgin Cruises, the source said the line will be developed to compete with the industry’s two largest companies – Carnival Corporation and Royal Caribbean International. This suggests, Branson is likely looking at building mass market ships similar to Voyager of the Seas and Carnival Spirit.
Although still in the early stages of development, the source revealed that the line would be headquartered in North America as a reflection of the region’s dominance in the industry.
To launch the project, Branson and his advisors are reportedly talking to banks about taking out $1 billion of debt to finance the first vessels. They are also hoping to raise $700 million of equity by selling stakes in Virgin Cruises.
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