Four VLCCs but no suezmaxes, says Euronav

Athens: Euronav has confirmed it is in “advanced discussions” to purchase four VLCCs, but has not made an offer on other vessels, “specifically the Principal Maritime suezmax vessels”.

Splash reported yesterday that Euronav has purchased resale contracts for eight VLCC newbuildings from Greece’s Metrostar Management, according to shipbrokers’ reports. The ships are currently under construction at Hyundai Heavy Industries, South Korea.

Now the Euronext-listed owner says it plans to buy four VLCCs, although brokers tell Splash that the deal could have options attached.

“If concluded, [the acquisition] would be funded from debt and existing liquidity available under revolving facilities. Euronav does not intend to issue equity in relation to this transaction,” Euronav said in a statement late last night. “Management confirms that the company will maintain its current dividend policy of distributing at least 80% of its annual net result.”

Yesterday, reports from the Wall Street Journal suggested Euronav planned to buy 10 suezmax tankers from Connecticut-based Principal Maritime Tankers for around $48m each. Euronav confirms it has not made an offer on these vessels.

“Our outlook is simple and disciplined,” Patrick Rodgers, Euronav’s CEO, told Maritime CEO in early May.

“If we can add to our fleet by an accretive addition then we will closely consider it. However, it will have to mean acquiring assets at NAV [net asset value] or a discount to NAV and for the additional fleet to at least match or more likely reduce the breakeven cost of the enlarged fleet.”

Holly Birkett

Holly is Splash's Online Editor and correspondent for the UK and Mediterranean. She has been a maritime journalist since 2010, and has written for and edited several trade publications. She is currently studying for membership of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. In 2013, Holly won the Seahorse Club's Social Media Journalist of the Year award. She is currently based in London.
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