Norwegian Cruise Lines in talks to buy Prestige Cruises for $3 billion

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings is in advanced talks to acquire Prestige Cruises International for about $3 billion, Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the matter.A deal would give Norwegian Cruise, a company with a market value of $6.8 billion, access to Prestige Cruises’ luxury cruise ships and affluent clientele as it competes with bigger rivals Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd and Carnival Corp.A deal may be announced as early as this week, the report said.Reuters reports the $29 billion cruise industry is expected to benefit in the coming years from the rise of the middle class in emerging economies such as China and India.Genting Hong Kong earlier this year sold part of its stake in Norwegian Cruise Lines for $152.6 million. The cruise ship operator contributed $46.9 million in profit to Genting’s first-half results, compared with a loss of $44.0 million a year ago.