FIJIAN Holdings Limited has set its sail in the cruise industry buying South Sea Cruises and cementing its footing in the tourism industry for no less than $62.57 million.
And despite its troubled marriage with Blue Lagoon Cruises, a company that saw more losses than profits in the past 11 years since it was purchased, FHL chief executive Nouzab Fareed is confident the latest investment in SSC will reap better results.
He emphasised that this was an acquisition which involved the top 20 shareholders, audit firms, lawyers and the board.
"The tourism industry is clearly becoming the new backbone of Fiji and FHL is determined to be a key contributor to Fijians in terms of employment opportunities," Mr Fareed said.
"SSC is a market leader in this sector. It is the country's largest and most experienced marine tourism operator. It provides and extensive and essential island resort connection service in the Yasawa and Mamanuca groups and operates under several brands including Awesome Adventures and Coconuts and Coral Fiji."
SSC, Mr Fareed added, was making an average annual profit of $7million a year.
"This investment accelerates our strategy in growing the FHL portfolio in strong sectors of the tourism market that will continue to perform and provide positive return on investment," FHL chairman Iowane Naiveli said. Wednesday's acquisition was completed in three transactions. FHL divested all its shares in Blue Lagoon Cruises, worth about $12.57m to SSC. It then bought SSC from Marine Tourism Holdings (MTH) for $62.57m.