“By taking over the long-established company KD, we have acquired a real gem in the river cruise sector,” says Mr Straubhaar enthusiastically. “Our aim is now to make this gem shine again. To do this we need the necessary will, know-how and courage to make investments in the right places. We bring all these qualities with us.” The Cologne location, for instance, is to be significantly strengthened. Expansion of the harbour as a central competence centre is one of the specific ideas which the Swiss entrepreneur has in mind. River Advice AG currently operates 45 river cruise ships for some 20 tour operators. “In particular with respect to the topics of training, technology, purchasing and landing stage management, its makes sense to cooperate closely with KD Cruise, a company which at present manages 34 cabin ships under the umbrella of KD AG. This will also generate positive effects for KD’s core business of daily boat excursions,” Mr Straubhaar adds. He will be relying on the expertise and experience of the KD staff to implement these ideas.
KD CEO Dr. Achim Schloemer is exceedingly pleased in view of these new and extremely promising prospects. “KD offers enormous potential. We have the wonderfully good fortune to be able to present one of the most beautiful regions in Europe to our guests on board. Supported by the right investments, we will now continue on our course as a modern company and put things on the right track for the future. An even larger range of offerings, the expansion of the events business and also newly built ships are certain to play a role in this development,” says the KD CEO, clearly pleased.
To implement the plans quickly and successfully, the new owner will take KD AG private. “Being listed on the stock exchange involves considerable expense, which is not justifiable for a medium-sized company like KD. We much prefer to invest the energy required to do this in further developing the company,” Mr Straubhaar explains. “A high level of transparency both within the company and towards our partners is and remains tremendously important here. We are also aware that KD shares have the status of enthusiasts’ shares. We will certainly bear this in mind and will consequently think of something new for the many fans of KD to show and maintain their strong bond with the company.”
Up to 23 October KD will continue to travel between Cologne and Mainz on a daily basis according to the scheduled timetable. On 24 November the extensive Advent programme will start in the cities of Cologne, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt, and on the Middle Rhine. Further information on all KD offers is available at www.k-d.com.