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Saudi sovereign wealth fund said to be pursuing Seabourn

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Seabourn Ovation
Carnival Corp. & plc is in early talks to sell Seabourn to Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, CNBC reported Tuesday.

CNBC cited unnamed 'people familiar with the situation' and had no comment from the Saudis or Carnival.

A Carnival Corp. spokesman told Seatrade Cruise News the company doesn't generally address rumors or speculation.

5.14% stake in Carnival Corp.

PIF, the Saudi wealth fund, bought into Carnival Corp. in 2020, and today holds a 5.14% stake, according to Yahoo Finance.

Last year the PIF officially launched Cruise Saudi to establish the cruise industry there and create a new destination for international cruise lines via a network of ports. It is drawing a growing number of homeport and transit calls, from major operators like MSC Cruises to boutique brands like Scenic and Emerald. 

Developing a yacht with Aman, chartered Silversea ship

Cruise Saudi is involved in a joint venture with Aman Resorts to develop a 100-passenger yacht.

in 2020, the Saudis chartered Silversea Cruises' Silver Spirit for two months of Red Sea cruises marketed domestically.

Cruise Saudi was also a major presence at Seatrade Cruise Global in Miami Beach last month.

Prior sale rumors

Rumors that Seabourn was in play had circulated earlier during the pandemic. 

The ultra-luxury brand operates three 458-passenger ships and two 600-passenger ships and is set to introduce the 264-passenger Seabourn Venture, the first of two expedition newbuilds, this year, with Seabourn Pursuit to follow in 2023.

Carnival shares fell 10.3% to close at $11.76 on Tuesday as cruise stocks took a hit amid weakening macroeconomic forecasts. 

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