Fredriksen takes aim at poison pill tactics adopted by International Seaways

John Fredriksen has blasted the so-called poison pill tactics deployed by senior management at International Seaways.

Fredriksen, who has recently emerged as the largest shareholder in the US-based tanker firm with a 16.6% holding, hit out at the defensive strategy since deployed by the company.

A shareholder rights plan, colloquially known as a poison pill, is a type of defensive tactic used by a corporation’s board of directors against a takeover. Typically, such a plan gives shareholders the right to buy more shares at a discount if one shareholder buys a certain percentage or more of the company’s shares.

Fredriksen, via his Seatrankers Group, has asked for two seats on the International Seaways board to drive up the value of the company at a time where tanker markets are finally looking healthy. He is also demanding a greater say in the company’s long-term strategy.

“The Seatankers Group’s ambition with its ownership in International Seaways is still to create long-term shareholder value consistent with what it has been able to accomplish with its involvement with many other companies in the industry,” a letter sent to the International Seaways board states.

As well as taking a leading stake in International Seaways, Fredriksen, the most famous name in tanker shipping this century, also finds himself in a battle with the Saverys family for control of Euronav, Europe’s largest tanker company, with a crucial vote set to take place in Antwerp among shareholders in eight days’ time.

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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