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    Norwegian Cruise Line Sets Price Range for IPO. Is this a good time?

    Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, the cruise ship operator backed by private equity firms Apollo Global Management and TPG, on Tuesday set a price of $16 to $18 a share for an initial public offering.

    The company plans to sell 23.5 million shares in the offering. At the midpoint of the range, it would raise about $400 million, which would be used to reduce debt.

    Norwegian Cruise Line, based in Miami, operates 11 ships and offers cruises ranging in length from one day to three weeks. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, the company had adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or Ebitda, of $540.4 million, up 19.5 percent from the period a year earlier, on revenue of $2.26 billion.

    In January 2008, Genting, a cruise operator based in Hong Kong, sold 50 percent of the company to Apollo and TPG funds. After the offering, the three shareholders would have voting control over about 88 percent of the newly public company, according to the prospectus.

    A parent company of Norwegian Cruise, NCL, had previously registered to go public in October 2010.

    The company plans to trade on the Nasdaq market under the ticker symbol NCLH. UBS and Barclays are leading the underwriters of the offering.

    By Dealbook, New York Times

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