Lindblad Expeditions and Capitol Acquisition Corp. II have announced a plan to merge to create Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, Inc. Linblad Expeditions Holdings will be a publicly traded company listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market and led by Lindblad President and Founder Sven-Olof Lindblad and the current Lindblad management team. Capitol Acquisition Corp. II is a public investment vehicle formed for the purpose of effecting a merger, acquisition or similar business combination. The transaction is valued at approximately $439 million.
“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 CEO 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.”
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.”