Royal Caribbean Group has agreed to sell Azamara to private equity firm Sycamore Partners.

The $201 million deal for the three-ship line will see Sycamore acquire the entire Azamara brand and intellectual property.

The transaction is subject to customary conditions and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021. 

Azamara chief operating officer Carol Cabezas has been appointed president of the brand.

Royal Caribbean Group said the sale would allow it to focus on expanding its Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises brands.

“Our strategy has evolved into placing more of our resources behind three global brands, Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Silversea, and working to grow them as we emerge from this unprecedented period,” said Richard Fain, chairman and chief executive of Royal Caribbean Group.

“Even so, Azamara remains a strong brand with its own tremendous potential for growth, and Sycamore’s track record demonstrates that they will be good stewards of what the Azamara team has built over the past 13 years.”

Sycamore managing director Stefan Kaluzny said: “We are pleased that Royal Caribbean Group has entrusted Sycamore to support Azamara in its next phase of growth.

We are excited to partner with the Azamara team and build on their many years of success serving the brand’s loyal customers. We believe Azamara will remain a top choice for discerning travellers as the cruising industry recovers over time.”

Royal Caribbean Group said Azamara’s value proposition and operations “will remain consistent” under the new arrangement, and that it will “work in close collaboration on a seamless transition for Azamara employees, customers and other stakeholders”.

The transaction will result in a one-time, non-cash impairment charge of about $170 million. Royal said the sale of Azamara “is not expected to have a material impact on Royal Caribbean Group’s future financial results”.