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Monday, January 17, 2000

Hawaii cruise
line parent plans
$250 mil stock sale

American Classic Voyages
says timing of the sale will
depend on market conditions

By Russ Lynch


American Classic Voyages American Classic Voyages Co., the Chicago-headquartered parent of American Hawaii Cruises and Delta Queen Steamboat Co., plans to sell $250 million in common stock and preferred securities to raise money for general corporate purposes, according to a disclosure filed at the Securities & Exchange Commission.

The company said the sales will be made from time to time, depending on market conditions.

In other news, American Classic disclosed that the SEC is conducting an informal investigation of the way it changed its accounting last year for certain costs for "direct response" advertising.

American Classic said that on Jan. 1 1999 it started using the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants standard for reporting advertising costs and began deferring some costs for later. It had trouble implementing the system and dropped it in December.

At that time, the company restated its financial statements for the first and second quarters, which increased its first-half losses by $2 million.

For the first nine months of 1999, after a strong third quarter, American Classic had a loss of $1.7 million on revenues of $153.2 million, compared to a loss of $1.3 million on revenues of $145.1 million in the first nine months of 1998.

The company is putting about $1 billion into its Project America ship-development for its American Hawaii Cruises round-the-islands business in Hawaii, which includes building two large liners at an American shipyard and buying and refurbishing a foreign vessel for interim use in Hawaii.

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