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Capitol Acquisition Corp. II to merge with Lindblad Expeditions

Merger to expand Lindblad and National Geographic global leadership in expedition travel.

NEW YORK and WASHINGTON – Lindblad Expeditions, Inc., a global leader in expedition cruising and extraordinary adventure travel experiences, and Capitol Acquisition Corp. II, a public investment vehicle formed for the purpose of effecting a merger, acquisition or similar business combination, announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement to merge in a transaction valued at approximately $439 million. The combined company intends to be listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market and be renamed Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, Inc. following completion of the merger. The combined company will continue to be led by Lindblad President and Founder Sven-Olof Lindblad and the current Lindblad management team.

For close to 40 years, Lindblad has provided expedition travel cruises featuring up-close encounters with wildlife and nature in some of the world’s most remarkable places, including the Galapagos, Antarctica, the Arctic, the Amazon, Alaska, and unique curated expeditions in Europe. Lindblad’s voyages allow guests to interact with and learn from world class scientists, naturalists, explorers and photographers while discovering stunning natural environments, above and below the sea, through state-of-the-art exploration tools.

“We created Capitol with the express purpose of investing in a company that will generate superior long-term returns for shareholders,” said Mark Ein, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Capitol. “Expedition travel is among the fastest growing segments in the travel industry. With its well-established brand, long-term National Geographic partnership, deep management experience and strong consumer franchise in this sector, Lindblad is exactly the kind of investment opportunity that we were looking for. The company has significant excess demand for its voyages and we believe our merger will provide substantial new resources to position the company for accelerated future growth.”

Lindblad is a leader in one of the fastest growing market segments in the travel industry. Adventure travel grew 65 percent annually from 2009 to 2012 into an approximately $263 billion industry, according to the Adventure Tourism Market Study conducted by George Washington University and the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA). Meanwhile, according to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Cruise Industry Outlook for 2015, specialty cruises grew by roughly 21 percent annually from 2009 to 2014 estimates and are expected to continue to experience double-digit passenger growth.  

“We are excited to partner with Capitol Acquisition Corp. II in a transaction that will position Lindblad to move into a new phase in our history and pursue future growth opportunities as a public company,” said Sven-Olof Lindblad. “The additional resources and strong balance sheet will allow us to meet increasing guest demand by expanding our fleet with new vessels and opportunistically seeking accretive strategic acquisitions.”

Lindblad benefits from a long-standing exclusive strategic partnership for travel on ocean-going ships with National Geographic based on a shared heritage and passion for exploration. Since 2004, Lindblad and National Geographic have collaborated on exploration, research, technology and conservation, providing extraordinary travel experiences and disseminating geographic knowledge around the globe. National Geographic photographers and explorers join many Lindblad trips to help maximize traveler enjoyment. In conjunction with the closing of the merger, Lindblad and National Geographic will extend their partnership until December 31, 2025.

“We are thrilled to extend our important partnership with Lindblad Expeditions and support this transaction that will enable Lindblad and our joint offerings to significantly grow in the future. The relationship is based on shared core values which go to the core of National Geographic’s mission to promote the power of exploration, science and storytelling to change the world,” said Gary E. Knell, President and CEO, National Geographic Society.

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Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.