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Royal Caribbean acquires 20% of First Choice

LONDON. U.S. based Royal Caribbean<.>, the world`s second largest cruise company, is acquiring a 20% share of…

LONDON. U.S. based Royal Caribbean<.>, the world`s second largest cruise company, is acquiring a 20% share of First Choice<.> plc, Britain`s fourth largest travel group. This stake will enable RC to compete successfully in the European market against its archrival Carnival Cruise Co., which holds a minority stake at Airtours. In the mean time, Airtours sold its 3% stake in First Choice, thus increasing speculation of a possible merger with Germany`s C&N group.

These moves follow this week`s acquisition of Thomson Travel by the Preussag/TUI Group, while the Thomas Cook Group still looks for a new majority shareholder,

following Preussag `s intention to sell its stake for reasons of competition. Possible bidders for Thomas Cook include Kuoni, Rewe and P&O.

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