Employee Benefits and Share Option Plans
|12 Months Ended|
Dec. 31, 2014
|Postemployment Benefits [Abstract]|
|Employee Benefits and Share Option Plans||
Management NCL Corporation Units
In 2009, we adopted a profits sharing agreement which authorized us to grant profits interests in the Company to certain key employees. These interests generally vested with the holders based on a combination of performance-based and time-based vesting metrics, each as specified in the profits sharing agreement and each holder’s award agreement. Genting HK, the Apollo Funds and the TPG Viking Funds were entitled to initially receive any distributions made by the Company, pro rata based on their shareholdings in the Company. Once Genting HK, the Apollo Funds and the TPG Viking Funds received distributions in excess of certain hurdle amounts specified in the profits sharing agreement and each holder’s award agreement, each vested profits interest award generally entitled the holder of such award to a portion of such excess distribution amount. In connection with the Corporate Reorganization, NCLC’s outstanding profits interests granted under its profits sharing agreement to management (or former management) of NCLC were exchanged for an economically equivalent number of NCL Corporation Units. We refer to the NCL Corporation Units exchanged for profits interests granted under the profits sharing agreement as “Management NCL Corporation Units.” The Management NCL Corporation Units received upon the exchange of outstanding profits interests were subject to the same time-based vesting requirements and performance-based vesting requirements applicable to the profits interests for which they were exchanged.
We accounted for the exchange of the outstanding profits interests for the economically equivalent number of Management NCL Corporation Units and share-based option awards as an award modification. An award modification requires that the fair value of the awards immediately before the modification and immediately after the modification be determined. We engaged a third-party valuation firm to assist in the completion of a valuation which was derived using a binomial lattice model. It was determined that the post-modification award value derived greater value versus the pre-modification award value, resulting in the recognition of incremental compensation expense. At the date of award modification, approximately $5.5 million of incremental cost associated with vested awards was charged to share-based compensation, with the remaining unvested portion to be charged over the remaining vesting period.
The Management NCL Corporation Units, generally consisted of fifty percent of “Time-Based Units” (“TBUs”) and fifty percent of “Performance-Based Units” (“PBUs”). The TBUs generally vested over five years and upon a distribution event, the vesting amount of the PBUs was based on the amount of proceeds that are realized above certain hurdles.
In the fourth quarter of 2014, all Management NCL Corporation Units were exchanged for NCLH ordinary shares and restricted shares under a management exchange agreement (the “Management Exchange Agreement”). NCLH became the sole member and 100% owner of the economic interests in NCLC and the non-controlling interest no longer exists as of December 31, 2014. Accordingly, NCLC is now treated as a disregarded entity for U.S. federal income tax purposes. No new NCLC profits interests or Management NCL Corporation Units will be issued; however, NCLH has granted, and expects to continue to grant, options to acquire its ordinary shares to our management team under its long-term incentive plan. The exchange for NCLH ordinary shares and restricted shares, per the Management Exchange Agreement, resulted in no incremental expense after applying the modification accounting treatment as substantially all key terms and conditions remained consistent.
The termination of employment may result in forfeiture of any non-vested TBUs and all PBUs. TBUs that were vested can be either continued by the Company or cancelled and paid to the employee. Cancellation could take place any time after termination but not before two years after the grant date.
The fair value of each Management NCL Corporation Unit award was estimated on the date of grant using a binomial lattice pricing model. The total intrinsic value of units exchanged for NCLH ordinary shares during the year 2014 and 2013 was $132.4 million and $33.3 million, respectively. The total intrinsic value of units exchanged for NCLH restricted shares was $56.8 million during 2014. There were no units exchanged for NCLH restricted shares during 2013 or 2012 and there were no units exchanged for NCLH ordinary shares during the year 2012.
Share Option Awards
In January 2013, the Company adopted a 2013 performance incentive plan which provides for the issuance of up to 15,035,106 of NCLH’s share options and ordinary shares, with no more than 5,000,000 shares being granted to one individual in any calendar year. Share options are generally granted with an exercise price equal to the closing market price of NCLH shares at the date of grant. The vesting period is typically set at 4 or 5 years with a contractual life ranging from 7 to 10 years. The fair value of each option award is estimated on the date of grant using the Black-Scholes option-pricing model. The estimated fair value of the options, less estimated forfeitures, is amortized over the vesting period using the straight-line vesting method. The assumptions used within the option-pricing model are as follows:
Expected volatility was determined based on the historical share prices of our competitors. When we accumulate sufficient historical share price data, we will use our volatility to determine fair value. The risk-free rate was based on United States Treasury zero coupon issues with a remaining term equal to the expected option term at grant date. The expected term was calculated under the simplified method. Our forfeiture assumption is derived from historical turnover rates and those estimates are revised as appropriate to reflect the actual forfeiture results.
The following is a summary of option activity under our share option plan for the year ended December 31, 2014:
Restricted Share Awards
The following is a summary of restricted share activity of NCLH shares for the year ended December 31, 2014:
As of December 31, 2014, there was $0.8 million of total unrecognized compensation cost related to non-vested share-based compensation arrangements granted under the employee share option plan. The cost is expected to be recognized over a weighted-average period of 2.3 years. Restricted shares, with the exception of those related to the Management Exchange Agreement, which maintain their original vesting conditions of time and performance, vest in substantially equal quarterly installments over 2 years. The total fair value of shares vested during the year ended December 31, 2014 was $0.7 million.
The share-based compensation expense for the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012 was $20.6 million, which includes $6.0 million of non-recurring charges associated with the Management Exchange Agreement, $23.1 million, which includes $18.5 million of non-recurring charges associated with the Corporate Reorganization and $5.2 million, respectively, and was recorded in marketing general and administrative expense.
Employee Benefit Plans
Certain of our employees are employed pursuant to agreements that provide for severance payments. Severance is generally only payable upon an involuntary termination of the employment by us without cause or a termination by the employee for good reason. Severance generally includes a cash payment based on the employee’s base salary (and in some cases, bonus), and our payment of the employee’s continued medical benefits for the applicable severance period.
We maintain annual incentive bonus plans for our executive officers and other key employees. Bonuses under these plans become earned and payable based on both the Company’s and each individual’s performance during the applicable performance period and the individual’s continued employment. Company performance criteria include the attainment of certain financial targets and other strategic objectives.
We maintain a 401(k) Plan for our shoreside employees, including our executive officers. Participants may contribute up to 100% of eligible compensation each pay period, subject to certain limitations. We make matching contributions equal to 100% of the first 3% and 50% of the next 4%—10% of each participant’s contributions. In addition, we may make discretionary supplemental contributions to the Plan, which shall be allocated to each eligible participant on a pro-rata basis based on the compensation of the participant to the total compensation of all participants. Our matching contributions are vested according to a five-year schedule. The 401(k) Plan is subject to the provisions of ERISA and is intended to be qualified under section 401(a) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”).
Our contributions are reduced by contributions forfeited by those employees who leave the 401(k) Plan prior to vesting fully in the contributions. Forfeited contributions of $0.1 million were utilized in each of the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012.
We maintain a Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan (“SERP”), which is a legacy unfunded defined contribution plan for certain of our executives who were employed by the Company in an executive capacity prior to 2008. The SERP was frozen to future participation following that date. The SERP provides for Company contributions on behalf of the participants to compensate them for the benefits that are limited under the 401(k) Plan. We credit participants under the SERP for amounts that would have been contributed by us to the Company’s previous Defined Contribution Retirement Plan and the former 401(k) Plan without regard to any limitations imposed by the Code. Participants do not make any elective contributions under this plan. As of December 31, 2014 and 2013, the aggregate balance of participants’ deferred compensation accounts under the SERP Plan was $0.4 million and $0.5 million, respectively.
We recorded expenses related to the above 401(k) Plan and SERP of $3.7 million, $3.3 million and $2.8 million for the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012, respectively.
We maintain a Senior Management Retirement Savings Plan (“SMRSP”), which is a legacy unfunded defined contribution plan for certain of our employees who were employed by the Company prior to 2001. The SMRSP provides for Company contributions on behalf of the participants to compensate them for the difference between the qualified plan benefits that were previously available under the Company’s cash balance pension plan and the redesigned 401(k) Plan. We credit participants under the SMRSP Plan for the difference in the amount that would have been contributed by us to the Company’s previous Norwegian Cruise Line Pension Plan and the qualified plan maximums of the new 401(k) Plan.
Effective January 2009, we implemented the Shipboard Retirement Plan which computes benefits based on years of service, subject to eligibility requirements of the Shipboard Retirement Plan. The Shipboard Retirement Plan is unfunded with no plan assets. The current portion of the projected benefit obligation of $0.9 million and $0.8 million was included in accrued expenses and other liabilities as of December 31, 2014 and 2013, respectively, and $18.8 million and $14.8 million was included in other long-term liabilities in our consolidated balance sheet as of December 31, 2014 and 2013, respectively. The amounts related to the Shipboard Retirement Plan were as follows (in thousands):
The discount rates used in the net periodic benefit cost calculation for the years ended December 31, 2014, 2013 and 2012 were 4.8%, 3.8% and 4.7%, respectively, and the actuarial loss is amortized over 19.03 years. The discount rate is used to measure and recognize obligations, including adjustments to other comprehensive income (loss), and to determine expense during the periods. It is determined by using bond indices which reflect yields on a broad maturity and industry universe of high-quality corporate bonds.
The pension benefits expected to be paid in each of the next five years and in aggregate for the five years thereafter are as follows (in thousands):
In April 2014 the shareholders approved the Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Employee Stock Purchase Plan (“ESPP”). The purpose of the ESPP is to provide eligible employees with an opportunity to purchase NCLH’s ordinary shares at a favorable price and upon favorable terms in consideration of the participating employees’ continued services. A maximum of 2,000,000 of the Company’s ordinary shares may be purchased under the ESPP. To be eligible to participate in an offering period, on the Grant Date of that period, an individual must be customarily employed by the Company or a participating subsidiary for more than twenty hours per week and for more than five months per calendar year. Participation in the ESPP is also subject to certain limitations. The ESPP is considered to be compensatory based on a) the 15% purchase price discount and b) that has a look-back purchase price feature. Since the plan is compensatory, compensation expense must be recorded in the statements of operations on a straight-line basis over the six-month withholding period. For the year ended December 31, 2014, the compensation expense was $0.09 million. As of December 31, 2014, we had a $0.3 million liability for payroll withholdings received.
The entire disclosure for an entity's employee compensation and benefit plans, including, but not limited to, postemployment and postretirement benefit plans, defined benefit pension plans, defined contribution plans, non-qualified and supplemental benefit plans, deferred compensation, share-based compensation, life insurance, severance, health care, unemployment and other benefit plans.
No definition available.