EuropeFinance and InsuranceTankers

Fredriksen looks to accelerate Euronav takeover

John Fredriksen is pressing ahead with his plans to combine Frontline with Euronav with news his tanker firm is acquiring another 5.96m shares, equivalent to 2.95% of the outstanding shares in the Belgian tanker giant. The privately negotiated share exchange transactions with certain shareholders of Euronav will see Frontline issue 8.34m new shares as a result of these transactions, equivalent to an exchange ratio of 1.4.

Frontline and Euronav announced on April 7 the plans for a potential combination between the two companies to create a global leader in the tanker industry.

Despite opposition from the Saverys family, who have played a key part of Euronav’s development over the past 25 years, the merger looks likely to go ahead.

In an update, Frontline and Euronav said they are working extensively to conclude due diligence and finalise an appropriate transaction structure. This may include a voluntary exchange offer by Frontline for Euronav shares as a first step, and Frontline would then consider setting the minimum acceptance ratio as low as 50.1% including shares already owned by Frontline.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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