Frontline still in the hunt for acquisitions

John Fredriksen’s Frontline has vowed to take advantage of “historically” low ship prices to continue to grow its tanker fleet.

Speaking at the company’s latest quarterly results where Frontline managed a $27.9m net profit, its CEO Robert Macleod cited the “historically low asset price environment” that has presented Frontline with opportunities to acquire modern tonnage at attractive prices.

Frontline added a number of newbuilds in the first quarter, while also offloading many of its older ships.

Macleod was adamant that older vessels are increasingly difficult to trade, a fact he said that is amplified in a softer rate environment.

“We will continue to strive to create value for our shareholders by expanding our fleet through accretive transactions,” Macleod said, explaining that the larger fleet might or might not come via the protracted takeover bids it has made for rival DHT Holdings. “Notwithstanding any potential outcome related to our proposal to effect a business combination with DHT, there are many opportunities to continue our strategy of fleet growth and renewal, and we are confident in our ability to execute on this strategy,” Macleod said.

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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