International Seaways justifies its poison pill tactics

US tanker owner, International Seaways, has responded to John Fredriksen’s charge against the so-called poison pill deployed as a defensive strategy.

Fredriksen has recently emerged as the largest shareholder in International Seaways with a 16.6% holding, prompting the company’s board to adopt a short-term stockholder rights plan. The rights plan is designed so that no individual stockholder or group of stockholders can gain control of the company through open market accumulation without paying a control premium to all stockholders or by otherwise disadvantaging other stockholders.

“It is particularly appropriate where, as here, affiliates of one of the company’s competitors have quickly and secretly amassed a significant stake in the company,” International Seaways said in a statement.

In an open letter sent to the International Seaways board, Fredriksen, through its Famatown Finance vehicle, described the move as a poison pill and accused the management of not creating enough value for the shareholders in the tanker company and had asked for two seats on the board to help drive up its value.

A response from, International Seaways, which merged with Diamond S Shipping in July last year, creating the second-largest US-listed tanker company by vessel count, followed shortly where the company stressed it was “singularly focused on delivering value to its shareholders.”

“Our 2021 acquisition of Diamond S Shipping doubled our net asset value, tripled our fleet size, and enhanced our earnings power, in particular by adding attractive product tankers that are now leading the market recovery. We note that our momentum has been substantial. International Seaways’ stock is up over 52% year-to-date, based on the April 27, 2022 closing price,” the company stated, adding that its board and management team have a history of active engagement with shareholders, including with Seatankers, and that it would “carefully evaluate the Famatown letter.”

Adis Ajdin

Adis is an experienced news reporter with a background in finance, media and education. He has written across the spectrum of offshore energy and ocean industries for many years and is a member of International Federation of Journalists. Previously he had written for Navingo media group titles including Offshore Energy, Subsea World News and Marine Energy.
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