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Royal Caribbean shareholders approve Oslo delisting

Royal Caribbean had considered delisting from its secondary exchange since 2009
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. shareholders voted to delist the company from the Oslo Stock Exchange.

The tally after Thursday's annual shareholders meeting in Miami was an overwhelming more than 173m votes 'for' versus 12.5m 'against.'

Royal Caribbean, whose primary listing is on the New York Stock Exchange, had considered delisting from its secondary exchange since 2009 when the board received overwhelming shareholder approval to pursue a delisting at its discretion. As explained in a proxy, delisting became a lower priority given economic conditions from the company's 2009 annual meeting to the present.

Recent changes in Royal Caribbean's agreement with the Oslo Stock Exchange and continued burdens on the company caused the issue to be raised again.

Royal Caribbean cited the complexity of dealing with two regulatory regimes—the NYSE and OSE—with 'conflicting and often inconsistent requirements,' and very low trading volume on the OSE relative to the NYSE (average daily trading volume of 188,000 shares in Oslo versus 2.2m in New York for the past 12 months). Other factors were the lack of need to access the capital markets through the OSE and costs of approximately $500,000 annually and administrative burden associated with maintaining and complying with the secondary listing venue.

'We are cognizant of the impact that delisting could have to holders of our common stock who reside in Norway,' the company said in the proxy, adding that should it delist, Royal Caribbean would pay costs to transfer their shares to the NYSE and otherwise work with the OSE and its transfer agent 'to ensure that our holders in Norway would be able to transfer their shares easily.' 

Also, the company said it would 'provide time for our Norwegian holders to liquidate their shares on the OSE in an orderly and efficient manner in the event they are unwilling or unable to transfer their shares to the NYSE.'