Monday, May 23, 2011

Windstar Cruises sells for $39 million

Financially troubled cruise line Windstar Cruises is being sold to a surprising cash buyer, Los Angeles businessman Philip Anschutz's company Anschutz Corp.  A U.S. bankruptcy judge in Delaware is approving the deal after Windstar Cruises voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in April.  

Anschutz, 71, owns interests in the Los Angeles Lakers and LA Kings, entertainment venues including L.A.'s Staples Center and the company that provides lodging at U.S. National Parks. This is his first cruise line.  Anschutz has a net worth of $7.5 billion according to Forbes where he also ranks in at 124th on Forbes list of the world's richest people.

Windstar Cruises are motorized sailing yachts that carry 148 to 312 passengers all over Europe, the Caribbean and Central America.  They've been sailing since 1984 with a fleet of 3 tall ships (msy Wind Spirit, msy Wind Star, msy Wind Surf) after the 4th (Msy Wind Song) burnt down in a fire in 2002.  A cruise on a Wind Star ship is considered high end luxury. The ships are relatively small, with the Wind Surf having a capacity for about 300 passengers, and the others about 150.

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