Saverys family ups stake in Euronav again

The battle for control of Europe’s largest tanker firm has seen the Saverys family get their stockbrokers to buy up another tranche of Euronav shares.

In their tussle with John Fredriksen’s Frontline for Euronav, the Saverys’ now have a 16.47% stake in the Belgian tanker giant, the largest shareholding of any entity.

Frontline launched a merger bid for Euronav earlier this month, after Fredriksen had been steadily building up his shareholding in the firm.

“A combination of Frontline and Euronav would establish a market leader in the tanker market and position the combined group for continued shareholder value creation in addition to significant synergies,” Fredriksen said on making his move for Euronav on April 7.

The move was swiftly knocked back by the Saverys family who have been in control of Euronav since 1997. Alex Saverys, the CEO of Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB), has since outlined his vision for Euronav, essentially moving it away from its crude tanker origins to focus more on green energy.

Clarksons data indicates the combined entity would control 7% of world VLCC fleet capacity in dwt terms, 8.5% of world crude suezmax fleet capacity and 4.4% of world coated LR2 fleet capacity.

Shareholders will vote on the merger on May 19 at Euronav’s AGM. Both boards of directors at Frontline and Euronav have approved the combination.

If the merger is approved, the entity would be called Frontline, and be headed by Euronav’s CEO, Hugo De Stoop and based in Antwerp.

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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