Fredriksen sues DHT

Norway’s richest man, John Fredriksen, is known on home soil as Big Wolf and even at the age of 72 he shows no let up in his appetite for the kill. While many had presumed that following two failed attempts by his firm Frontline to take over rival tanker firm DHT Holdings earlier this year marked an end to this latest Fredriksen hunt, the tycoon has made it clear he’s not finished pursuing the New York-listed entity. Fredriksen has elected to sue DHT, in a bid to block its planned $538m buyout of BW Group’s VLCC fleet and ensure that DHT shareholders vote on an offer tabled by Frontline.

Frontline has taken its case to the New York Supreme Court this week while also coming in with a third offer to buy out DHT. Frontline is claiming that DHT management is refusing to give shareholders a vote on its offer which would give investors a 16.7% premium over its closing share price on Tuesday.

Fredriksen is not happy at how BW has moved to block its path. Frontline’s filing with the court describes the deal with BW as “improper”.

“Frontline’s stake in the company will be significantly diluted, and BW Group will be given an unfair advantage in acquiring the company — all to the detriment of the company’s shareholders,” the filing maintained.

Frontline has asked a New York judge to postpone any deal being concluded between DHT and BW. As announced last month BW is willing to sell its entire 11-strong VLCC fleet to DHT in return for a 33.5% stake in the firm.

Frontline’s improved offer this week sees 0.8 of its shares on the table in exchange for each DHT share.

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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