American Hawaii Cruises has completed an $84 million refinancing package that basically involved restructuring loans to get better interest rates and longer amortization periods, said Gene Ferretti, AHC executive vice president and chief operating officer.
He said the cruise line, for instance, was able to extend the amortization period of one $54 million loan by six years.Getting longer amortization schedules to increase AHC's cash flow "was really one of the most important things we were able to accomplish," he said.
"We feel very happy with the rates" too, he said. "They are very competitive rates."
AHC, a privately held firm, changed ownership in January and said at the time that it would restructure its debt. Peter C.R. Huang, who owns a controlling interest in the San Francisco-based firm, took over the majority ownership share from the Tung Group of Hong Kong.
Mr. Huang, who is also AHC's chairman and president, said the line was having some financial problems due to its expansion into the Tahiti cruise market. He said AHC was making a profit but needed refinancing to put in on a sound financial footing.
The Tahitian service cost the line $30 million to $45 million, according to Mr. Huang. AHC pulled out of Tahiti in January and incurred added costs in returning customer deposits and bringing a ship and crew back to the United States.
In refinancing, Mr. Ferretti said AHC got a permanent loan to replace the temporary financ ing it took to cover the cost of leaving Tahiti.
He said AHC also got a new loan that makes up a small share of the $84 million package. Mr. Ferretti wouldn't reveal the terms of AHC's various loans or the banks AHC is dealing with.
"We're happy to have this refinancing behind us," he said. "It was a major effort on Mr. Huang's and my part" to get it done so quickly, he added.
Mr. Ferretti said the company is now stable financially and will focus its efforts onimproving its cruise business and its internal management.