Euronav pounces for Hartree’s last two ships

One of the largest names in tanker shipping, Belgian-based outfit, Euronav, is again in the limelight. This time broking sources report that the tanker mammoth is closing in on two Daewoo-built VLCCs. The two-year-old 300,000 dwt Chelsea and the one year older sister vessel Ghillie are Hartree Partners’ last two ships. The deal has an en bloc price tag of $184m attached.

US-based Hartree Partners has timed the market well. The ships were ordered in 2018 for around $83.5m each. The deal will bring Euronav’s VLCC arm up to 40 ships.

Euronav has been heavily in the news this month following merger discussions with John Fredriksen’s Frontline.

The biggest benefit from the potential merger according to a recent note from Evercore ISI would be the creation of an equity with a market value that renders the entity “truly investible” throughout cycles.

Consultants at Drewry, meanwhile, said the proposed merger is a well-timed move as a countercyclical investment to create a global leading tanker giant ahead of a potential post-pandemic recovery in the market.

Although the proposed merger is unanimously approved by the independent members of Frontline’s board of directors and Euronav’s supervisory board, Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB) – the largest shareholder in Euronav – has repeatedly stressed it does not support the proposed merger.

Hans Thaulow

Hans Henrik Thaulow is an Oslo-based journalist who has been covering the shipping industry for the last 15 years. As well as some work for the Informa Group, Hans was the China correspondent for TradeWinds. He also contributes to Maritime CEO magazine. Hans’ shipping background extends to working as a shipbroker trainee with Simpson, Spence & Young in Hong Kong.
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