Compagnie du Ponant sails over to Bridgepoint

European private equity firm Bridgepoint has acquired French luxury cruise line company Compagnie du Ponant.

Polar cruise operator Compagnie du Ponant is now under private equity control with Bridgepoint buying the company for an undisclosed amount from CMA CGM via its parent company Merit.

France-based Compagnie du Ponant (CDP) was founded in 1988 and now has 580 employees across its three ships. For 2011 it reported revenues of €80 million (£63.4 million).

Going forward, Bridgepoint will look to help the business expand internationally. CDP has a fourth vessel pencilled in for delivery in June 2013.

The management team led by co-founder Jean Emmanuel Sauvee and Veronique Saade will play an ‘active part’ in the company’s new stage of development, according to a statement.

Bridgepoint and CDP both believe that the luxury cruise market is a ‘growing and resiliant niche’ with global demand supported by an affluent customer base in Europe and the US. It points towards the polar cruise market as one which is experiencing ‘significant demand’, but has capacity reduced due to the specialist nature of ships able to operate there.

Both parties were not available for comment.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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