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Private Equity Firm Buys ‘Significant Stake’ in AmaWaterways

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Sarah kuta

by Sarah Kuta
Last updated: 1:25 PM ET, Tue March 5, 2024

A private equity firm has acquired a “significant stake” in AmaWaterways, the companies announced today.

L Catterton has entered into an agreement to buy the stake from a consortium of investors led by Cetares.

Cetares had been an AmaWaterways investor since 2017, reports Travel Weekly

Founders Rudi Schreiner, Kristin Karst and the Murphy family will continue to have “meaningful ownership” in the company, according to the announcement. They launched the Calabasas, California-based river cruise line together in 2002.

“This is an exciting new chapter for AmaWaterways,” says Rudi Schreiner, AmaWaterways’ co-founder and chief executive officer. “L Catterton brings unique insight into today’s customers, as well as exciting ideas on how we can work together to capitalize on a number of growth opportunities across our business. They share our passion for innovation and an unwavering commitment to creating unparalleled guest experiences. We look forward to working with them to continuously expand and enhance our river cruise portfolio for our customers.”

The private equity firm will help “identify new growth opportunities and thoughtful expansion initiatives” for AmaWaterways, according to Marc Magliacano, co-managing partner of L Catterton’s Flagship Fund.

“We couldn’t be more excited about this partnership; together we will continue to provide a distinct, luxury travel experience in many of the most sought-after destinations across the world,” adds Jennifer Reid, partner in L Catterton’s Flagship Fund.

AmaWaterways has more than two-dozen custom-designed ships sailing the rivers of Europe, Southeast Asia, Africa and Egypt. Later this year, the line will also begin offering sailings on the Magdalena River in Colombia aboard two new ships: AmaMagdalena is slated to debut in November, while sister ship AmaMelodia is scheduled to launch in June 2025. This summer, the company also plans to add a second ship, called AmaLilia, on the Nile River in Egypt.

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