by The Associated Press cover story,2016-03-04 00:03:17The luxury cargo ship broker group said Wednesday that it had sold its last $20 million of its first order of luxury cargo ships, after a deal to purchase more than 300 luxury cruise ships with a total of more than $500 million was announced.

Luxury cruise ship brokers and shipping industry trade groups had been looking for new opportunities to expand their business, and the deal with American Express shows they were able to get their ships on line faster than expected.

American Express said it would use the proceeds to fund more luxury cruise ship development and expand its presence in the United States and Asia.

The U.S. Commerce Department said Wednesday it would provide up to $20 billion in loans and other financial assistance to the broker group to fund projects, but it declined to disclose the amount.

The department also said the agency would allow American Express to participate in the deal.

The first order was valued at $1.1 billion.

The deal would have made the luxury cruise trade group the largest in the world, and would have been the largest transaction in the history of luxury cruise.

The brokerage group said it had more than 10,000 employees in more than 130 countries and would employ at least 2,000 full-time people.

The group’s president and chief executive officer said in a statement that the deal was not about the money.

The company said it has been growing and diversifying its business to meet changing markets and market conditions.

The company said that in the past year, its revenue has increased by $20.3 million and gross profit has increased 30 percent to $9.3 billion.