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I feel this reply will upset the Liverpool supporters of Cammell Laird but this ship was used as a one of the many means of vastly inflating the value of that company and keeping it alive long after the Cammell Laird financial bubble should have been allowed to expire.
The regulations concerning present day public companies are so overdone that their annual accounts are as an extensive publication as Tolstoy's War & Peace. As a result very few people bother to read the full do***ent. The Cammell Laird accounts were packed with creative accounting scams, but they were fully declared and therefore entirely legal. The problem was that very few people read the honest declaration that the accounts were largely a work of fiction.
Eugenio Costa was bought by Lowline for $19 million in 1972 and renamed Edinburgh Castle. During Lowline's ownership she became increasingly unreliable mechanically until the company went into liquidation. Cammell Laird had undertaken an unsuccessful refit on the ship and was one of the company's largest creditors. They bought the ship in 1999 for £6.55 million and took her to their Tyne yard for a further refit.
Huge costs were charged to the refit and fictional "profits" taken into the accounts. Cammell Laird formed and financed a Bermudan based company to "buy" the ship for $46 million and chartered her to Premier Cruise as Big Red Boat II. The ship was late on charter and completely unreliable when she did enter service. As a result Premier were forced into bankruptcy.
By comparison her Premier had earlier bought Eugenio Costa's near sister Oceanic for $20 million. This is a great ship that is still in service with the Spannish operator Pullmantur. No one wanted Big Red Boat II and she was eventually scrapped this year after having had her boilers retubed and a very difficult voyage to get her to her deathbed.
The problem that Cammell Laird eventually faced was that when Carnival bought Costa they actually read Cammell Laird's accounts and turned the Costa Classica back from her proposed modernisation, with the result that the Cammell Laird management were forced to accept that that the company had for some time been bankrupt.

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