The takeover saga surrounding Europe’s largest tanker owner is not over yet. Since April John Fredriksen has been battling the Saverys family for control of Euronav with the Norwegian magnate coming out on Monday with a definitive stock-for-stock combination agreement between his tanker firm Frontline and Euronav.
The proposed combination is structured as a voluntary conditional exchange offer, due to kick off in Q4 this year, possibly followed by a simplified squeeze out, with the aim to then propose a merger of Euronav into Frontline, which will relocate from Bermuda to Cyprus.
Undeterred, it has emerged that the Saverys family has continued to build its stake in Euronav, a company that it has controlled for the past 25 years.
Between July 6 and July 13 the Saverys’ have bought another 1.37m shares in Euronav, taking their stake in the tanker giant to 20.28%.
A release from the Saverys-controlled Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB) issued on Tuesday explained why the family remains opposed to a combination with Frontline. CMB cited a lack of information on the valuation of the two companies proposed as one of the reasons it disagreed with the merger, as well as the risk that the takeover bid’s value and structure would be dilutive to Euronav shareholders.
CMB argued that Euronav should diversify into other shipping asset types and focus on decarbonisation adding that the company doesn’t need to become larger to execute a sustainability strategy.