SC Capital sells UK cruise liner – Exclusive

Following the cancellation of the ambitious plan to develop a floating hotel due to execution risk, SC Capital has now sold Saga Ruby.

SC Capital Partners has sold Saga Ruby, the large UK cruise liner it acquired three years ago, following its failure to execute its innovative floating luxury hotel project.

PERE has learned that the cruise liner has been sold to a Hong Kong-based conglomerate for lesser than the initial purchase price. SC Capital declined to comment on the news.

The Singapore-based investment manager acquired the decommissioned Saga Ruby from Folkstone-based holiday operator Saga Group in March, 2014 via its third pan-Asia opportunity fund, the $530 million Real Estate Capital Asia Partners (RECAP) III.

As per earlier PERE reports, the total equity committed for the ambitious project was $35 million.

The unusual and innovative deal involved Saga Ruby first being sailed from the UK to Phuket, Thailand where the firm planned to renovate it into a 360-room hotel. After the redevelopment, it was planned that it would be sailed to Yangon, Myanmar’s former capital city, to be moored.

However, in mid-2015, PERE reported that after the redevelopment process, the deal was eventually cancelled because of expensive costs involved in dredging around the pier where the liner was to be moored in Yangon. At the time, the firm polled investors within Fund III to arrive at this decision.

Since then, the liner remained berthed near Bangkok, until its recent sale to the undisclosed Hong Kong buyer.

Meanwhile, the firm is preparing to come to market with its fifth opportunistic fund with a $1 billion capital raising target. PERE has learned that the firm will start marketing efforts around May, after Fund IV has touched the 75 percent deployment mark.