Fredriksen offloads DHT stake in apparent takeover surrender

John Fredriksen appears to have thrown in the towel in his dogged pursuit of taking over New York-listed crude tanker rival DHT Holdings.

DHT shocked the tanker market last week by agreeing a $538m deal to take over all of BW Group’s VLCC fleet, a move that ensures DHT remains a prime supertanker player and gives it breathing room from the aggressive takeover manoeuvres of Fredriksen’s Frontline earlier this year. Frontline’s bids have been rejected with tough words from DHT’s senior management.

Now that DHT has bolstered its position with the BW VLCC fleet buyout, Fredriksen appears to have set his sights elsewhere.

It emerges that during the past week Norway’s richest man offloaded a sizeable chunk of his shareholding in DHT. As of March 24, Fredriksen had slashed his holding in DHT from 16.4% to 14.3%.

Fredriksen and Frontline do appear however to be on the hunt for other VLCC targets in a bid to consolidate the sector.


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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