The former boss of Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) has bought the collapsed cruise line’s customer database and booking systems in a bid to relaunch it, reports Sky News.
The Essex-based business entered administration last month after failing to secure additional funding.
Sky News reports that “a number of assets” belonging to CMV have been sold to a new vehicle established by Christian Verhounig, its former chief executive.
The deal is expected to be announced on Friday.
Sources told the broadcaster that Duff & Phelps, the administrator, had sought to sell the business and wider assets of CMV and several sister companies but this had proved unsuccessful in an industry devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
CMV’s administration did not include its fleet of six ships, which included Marco Polo (pictured) and Columbus.
There are no passengers onboard any CMV ships when it collapsed, although the suspension of its programme as a result of the pandemic affected 50,000 passengers.
Paul Williams, joint administrator at Duff & Phelps, told Sky: “We have worked hard since being appointed to secure a sale of the business and assets of the companies.
“Regrettably, given the devastating impact of the global pandemic on the entire travel industry, with a focus on the leisure cruise sector, this has not been possible in this instance.
“However, I strongly believe that this asset sale not only represents the best value for the companies’ creditors that was achievable in challenging market conditions, but also provides an opportunity for CVI, through its owner Christian Verhounig, to continue to pursue funding opportunities to potentially relaunch CMV’s unique cruise operations to its dedicated customers at some point in the future.”
Verhounig told Sky: “The global pandemic had a devastating impact on CMV’s once flourishing, expanding and profitable business.
“Having developed a much-loved brand over the past decade and hugely popular value-based niche no-fly cruise product, we have been simply overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and pleased to re-launch the business.
“This endorsement across the industry and customer base alike has been a rich source of encouragement and together with my previous management team, we are working hard to plug the huge market gap vacated by CMV’s untimely insolvency.
“The acquisition of the UK commercial assets provides a positive first step and we believe demonstrates our firm commitment and optimism to return much stronger and to work alongside our loyal suppliers and creditors to also help mitigate the pandemic impact.”
Sky News reported that a source said CMV customers whose bookings were cancelled as a result of the company’s administration would have to continue to seek compensation through the existing claims process.
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