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 MIAMI, Nov. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Carnival Corporation (NYSE: CCL) and The Continental Companies today announced that they have signed a letter of intent to form a new hotel and casino management company to be named Carnival Hotels and Casinos.
 The agreement calls for Carnival to merge its 60 percent interest in Louisiana Casino Cruises, Inc., a riverboat project in Baton Rouge, La., together with its 50 percent interest in its Carnicon resort and casino management business, with Continental, a Miami-based hotel management company. As part of the transaction, Carnival also has agreed to contribute its Crystal Palace Hotel and Casino to the new company, subject to its previously announced agreement to sell 81 percent of the Crystal Palace to a German investment group.
 Carnival Hotels and Casinos will be 50 percent owned by the principals of the privately held TCC, and 50 percent owned by Carnival Corporation. Sherwood M. Weiser, chairman of the board of The Continental Companies, is to serve as chairman and chief executive officer of Carnival Hotels and Casinos. The company plans to develop both the hotel and gaming segments of its business.
 According to Carnival Corporation's Chairman and CEO Micky Arison, negotiations with The Continental Companies have been ongoing for a number of months and are part of our strategy to establish a separate, free-standing, land-based hotel and gaming management business.
 Arison said that Carnival intends to spin off 90 percent of its investment in Carnival Hotels and Casinos to its shareholders within one year following the merger.
 "We have had a long-term and successful working relationship with The Continental Companies through our Carnicon resort and casino management joint venture. By combining their expertise in hotel management and development with our experience in casino management, we believe we will have created a very viable hotel and casino business which can further exploit the burgeoning gaming business in the U.S. and in other parts of the world. Carnival Corporation's Vice President of Casino Operations, Robert Sturges, who will become president/Gaming Group of Carnival Hotels and Casinos, will become an integral part of that strategy," Arison said.
 Weiser said, "My partner Donald Lefton and I are extremely pleased about this new company because it will enable us to use the combined resources to achieve significant growth. Our company will be in a position to capitalize, not only on gaming, which is a fast-growing segment of the leisure business, but also on the re-emerging hotel business. Our senior executives responsible for managing that growth -- in addition to Robert Sturges -- will be Thomas F. Hewitt, president and chief operating officer/Hospitality Group; Peter L. Sibley, president/Development and Capital Group, and W. Peter Temling, who will serve as the company's executive vice president and chief financial officer."
 The agreement is subject to certain conditions including the completion of a definitive agreement and, accordingly, no assurances can be made that the transaction will be concluded.
 The new company will be one of the largest hotel and casino management companies in the country. It will begin operation with approximately 65 hotels comprising more than 17,000 rooms under its management. Its portfolio will consist of casinos, deluxe hotels, resorts, conference centers, airport hotels, commercial hotels and value- oriented hotels located throughout the United States, Latin America, the Caribbean, Mexico and the Bahamas.
 Properties currently under The Continental Companies' management include the five-star Grand Bay Hotel in Coconut Grove, Fla., and the new Grand Bay Resort Isla Navidad under construction in Manzanillo, Mexico. Grand Bay hotels will operate as a separate wholly owned division of the new company. Other operations under the new company will include hotels and casinos in the Bahamas; St. Martin; San Juan, Puerto Rico, and hotels such as the Golden Rainbow Maremares in Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela; Pier House Resort and Caribbean Spa in Key West, Fla.; Bonaventure Resort and Spa in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; as well as operations in Argentina, the Dominican Republic and throughout the United States. Many of these hotel properties are identified under major flags such as Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, Hilton, Holiday Inn, OMNI, Radisson, Sheraton and Westin.
 -0- 11/3/93
 /CONTACT: Tim Gallagher for Carnival Corporation, 305-599-2600, ext. 776; or Sherwood Weiser for The Continental Companies, 305-445-4220/

CO: Carnival Corporation; The Continental Companies ST: Florida IN: LEI SU: JVN

AW -- FL007 -- 0217 11/03/93 14:10 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 3, 1993

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