Value of Russell Galbut’s NCL stock plunges by $21M amid coronavirus

Developer’s stock value totaled nearly $5M as of market close on Friday, down from almost $26M in January

Russell Galbut
Russell Galbut

Developer Russell Galbut’s Norwegian Cruise Line stock has plunged over the past several weeks amid the coronavirus crisis, dropping by 81 percent or $20.9M.

Galbut, managing principal of Miami-based Crescent Heights, controls 431,001 shares of NCL Holdings stock as of April 1, 2019, according to NCL’s 2019 proxy statement. Galbut is chairman of the Miami-based cruise line and has been a director since 2015, Securities and Exchange Commission filings show. His term expires in 2021.

NCL’s stock peaked at $59.65 per share on Jan. 17, the highest per-share price since October 2015. As of market close on Friday at 4 p.m., NCL stock traded at $11.10 per share.

That means that the value of Galbut’s stock fell to $4.78 million from $25.71 million in January – a $20.9 million paper loss.

Galbut did not respond to a request for comment.

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The global health crisis has taken a huge toll on the financial markets, and Miami-based cruise line operators such as NCL, Carnival Corp. and Royal Caribbean Cruises have not been spared.

As a director of NCL, Galbut earns a base annual retainer of $100,000, which can be given in the form of restricted share units. As chairperson, he receives another $50,000. In 2018, Galbut earned nearly $240,000 in cash and stock options, according to NCL’s proxy filing.

Galbut, a co-founder of Crescent Heights, is a major developer in South Florida, Los Angeles, Chicago and other markets in the U.S. The firm has built over 38,000 residential units since it was founded in 1989. In Miami Beach, Galbut is moving forward with plans to build the Park on Fifth, a 44-story luxury residential tower at 500 Alton Road.

In Miami, Galbut has been assembling land for a major mixed-use project between Northeast 29th to 32nd streets and between Northeast Second Avenue and Biscayne Boulevard. (One of the buildings currently on the property is home to The Real Deal’s office.)

In Chicago, Crescent Heights recently completed NEMA Chicago, a 76-story, 800-unit residential skyscraper at the south end of Grant Park, the city’s tallest all-residential building.