P&O Heritage

Old Cunarder
21st January 2010, 17:48
P&O Cruises owned by U.S. Carnival Corporation.
P&O Ferries owned by Dubai Ports.
Which of these company's has the P&O heritage? Both companies ships fly the P&O house flag, both have similar fonts on the ships sides. Can they both claim to be P&O, other than for purely branding and marketing purposes?
What is the true position?
They cannot both be right.

fred henderson
21st January 2010, 19:09
It is rather more complicated than you state Old Cunarder.

P&O was a tangled mess of companies at the end of the 1990s and the company’s major institutional shareholders warned Lord Sterling to dispose of its non-core businesses, or they would appoint a chairman who would make sense of the company. As part of his response P&O Princess was spun off as a separate company, with the existing P&O shareholders receiving the same proportion of shares in P&O Princess. The entire deep sea passenger heritage of flags, etc went with the cruise assets to the new company.

It is of interest that at the time of the split, P&O Princess was worth considerably more than the rest of the P&O group. P&O decided to concentrate on ports and sold its container shipping business, its property arm, the exhibition halls, etc and virtually gave away its bulk shipping arm.

Sterling was replaced by Sir John Parker who sold the entire remaining business to Dubai. I suspect that the ferries were part of that deal because they had not already been sold.

P&O Princess was the third largest cruise company. It was the subject of a take-over battle between the two largest; Carnival and Royal Caribbean. Carnival won by merging both businesses into a dual-listed company. P&O Princess Cruises plc continued as a listed company but changed its name to Carnival plc. The two companies, Carnival Corporation and Carnival plc function as a single economic entity through contractual agreements between the two separate legal entities. Based on the agreed comparative values at the time of the merger, the Carnival Corporation shareholders obtained 74% and Carnival plc 26% of the shares in the new structure. Every share now has the same economic and voting interest but they are traded on different stock exchanges; Carnival Corporation in New York and Carnival plc in London.

The new entity is officially known as Carnival Corporation & plc. It is the only entity in the world to be included in the Premier Leagues of both the New York and London Stock Exchanges; the S&P 500 and the FTSE 100 respectively.

A fuller version of the story is told in the SN Directories:


Fred (Thumb)

21st January 2010, 19:13
Sorry to be cynical...but P&o is just a brand exploited by the boardroom at the time like most these days

Old Cunarder
21st January 2010, 19:28
Thankyou Fred. I think you are saying, it is P&O cruises that have the heritage. Then why are the ferries allowed to fly the P&O house flag and use it for their funnel colours?

fred henderson
22nd January 2010, 14:40
Thankyou Fred. I think you are saying, it is P&O cruises that have the heritage. Then why are the ferries allowed to fly the P&O house flag and use it for their funnel colours?

What I was trying to explain was that when P&O and P&O Princess were split, the heritage was also split. All of the other P&O shipping companies, except Ferries, were sold and no longer have the use of the heritage. Having said that I am sure there are still a few old containers about that have the P&O flag painted on them.

Carnival of course bought Holland America, Costa and Cunard, before it merged with P&O Princess. It has retained and greatly enhanced these brands.

Fred (Thumb)