UPDATE 1-Norwegian Cruise Line's IPO prices above range

Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:10pm GMT

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By Olivia Oran

Jan 17 (Reuters) - Global cruise line operator Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd priced its initial public offering at $19 a share on Thursday, above its expected range, an underwriter said.

The Miami, Florida-based company, backed by private equity firms Apollo Global Management LLC and TPG, raised $446.5 million by pricing 23.5 million shares as planned.

Norwegian Cruise Line, which is selling all the shares being offered, had intended to price shares at $16 to $18.

The deal marks the first public float in 2013 from a private equity-backed company.

It will use IPO proceeds to redeem outstanding debt and to pay expenses associated with the offering.

Norwegian Cruise Line competes with cruise operators including Carnival and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd . It operates 11 ships and cruises which range in length from one day to three weeks.

In 2008, Apollo and TPG purchased stakes in Norwegian Cruise Line for $1 billion. Apollo acquired a 37.5 percent stake while TPG acquired a 12.5 percent stake. Cruise operator Genting Hong Kong Ltd held the remaining 50 percent.

Norwegian Cruise Line generated adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of $540.4 million on revenue of $2.3 billion in the 12 months ended Sept. 30.

UBS and Barclays are the lead underwriters on the offering.

Norwegian Cruise will list its shares on the Nasdaq under the symbol "NCLH."

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