Paddy Rodgers, the ceo of Euronav, is adamant he will not be left behind in snapping up tanker bargains. While rival tanker titans like Frontline, BW and DHT have been battling each other for assets, Rodgers has been biding his time, while building up a sizeable war chest.
Euronav, which announces its Q1 results today, has around $600m ready to bolster its 55-strong fleet. Acquisitions will not be of the newbuild variety, unlike some of his Greek peers of late.
“There is value in buying stuff cheap,” Rodgers tells Maritime CEO in an exclusive interview. “We are not going to a shipyard for a year or two. The world fleet is not old enough to warrant ordering,” he adds.
Rogers will not necessarily be drawn into the consolidation battle that has been raging through the VLCC sector this year. He did look at the BW VLCC fleet earlier, prior to DHT taking those ships, but at the time the Andreas Sohmen-Pao firm was hawking its current fleet and had not put its two newbuilds for sale.
Of the BW – DHT deal, Rodgers, a former accountant, concedes it looks like “really good value” for BW who will not be, he reckons, passive shareholders at New York-listed DHT.
However, for Rodgers any buys are all about Euronav’s bottom line.
“It’s not about making a statement, it’s about making money,” Rodgers stresses.
While panelists at this week’s tanker session during the Maritime CEO Forum felt Donald Trump was good for tankers with his pro-energy stance in his first 100 days in office, Rogers is more circumspect, saying the US president has been off target so far and is not working hard enough. “He makes George W Bush look hard working,” Rodgers quips.
The tanker boss is not too concerned with rates at the moment, he even tells Maritime CEO he would not mind if they plunged more.
“If we are going to have a shakeout it might not be a bad thing to have lower rates and more volatility, to shake out the weaker operators,” he concludes.