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American Queen. Photo credit: Benroethig/Creative Commons

American Queen. Photo credit: Benroethig/Creative Commons

Hornblower Group Emerges from Financial Restructuring with New Ownership

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 56
July 8, 2024

Hornblower Group, a prominent provider of water and land-based experiences, has successfully completed its financial restructuring process after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year.

Hornblower Group in February announced an agreement with Strategic Value Partners (SVP), a global alternative investment firm, that would see SVP acquire majority ownership of Hornblower and provide a substantial equity investment to help strengthening the company’s financials. As part of the agreement, Hornblower’s underperforming overnight cruising business, American Queen Voyages (AQV), ceased operations.

Hornblower’s new majority ownership, streamlined portfolio, and enhanced financial flexibility will help support long-term growth. “Today marks a new beginning for Hornblower. We have an expert team with a long history of delivering safe, world-class experiences,” said Kevin Rabbitt, Hornblower’s Chief Executive Officer.

Hornblower offers diverse services, including daily ferry transportation and cruises to destinations like the Statue of Liberty, Alcatraz Island, and Niagara Falls. Annually serving over 20 million guests, their offerings include City Cruises, transportation services, sightseeing and food tours, commuter and cargo transport, and operating and ticketing systems through their subsidiary, Anchor Operating System.

Following the restructuring, funds managed by SVP have acquired majority ownership of Hornblower. Crestview Partners retains a significant minority position. The restructuring has allowed Hornblower to reduce its total debt by approximately $720 million (over 70%) and substantially increase its liquidity, enabling further investment in growth and expansion.

“We are thrilled to see Hornblower enter this new era of growth,” stated David Geenberg, Co-Head of the North American Investment Team at SVP. “The Company is a leader in the maritime space, with a dedicated crew, robust infrastructure, and an unwavering commitment to safety and service excellence. Together, we will build on this strong foundation, growing the portfolio of world-class consumer experiences and setting the standard for public-private partnerships in ferries and transportation.”

Brian Cassidy, President of Crestview, added, “Following the completion of this process, we believe that the Company has a strong balance sheet and is positioned to continue meeting the travel and transportation needs of their guests and commuters. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Hornblower.”


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