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Norwegian Cruise Line surges in first day of trading

Global cruise line operator Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.'s shares rose 32 per cent in their Nasdaq debut on Friday.

Shares opened at $25.10 (U.S.) after the company, backed by Apollo Global Management LLC and TPG, raised $446.5-million in its initial public offering.

Norwegian Cruise shares had been priced at $19, above their expected range of $16 to $18. The float is the first private equity-backed offering of 2013.

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Norwegian Cruise Line competes with Carnival Corp. 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 a stake in Norwegian Cruise Line for $1-billion. Apollo acquired a 37.5-per-cent stake, while TPG acquired a 12.5-per-cent stake. Hong Kong-based cruise operator Genting Hong Kong Ltd. held the remaining 50 per cent.

Norwegian Cruise Line generated adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, 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.

The more than $1.8-billion in proceeds raised this week by five companies making their market debuts is the highest weekly amount since October, according to market data firm Ipreo.

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