January 31, 2023

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Fredriksen continues to buy Euronav shares after the tender – E24 is cancelled

John Fredriksen Frontline withdrew its bid for Euronav, but since the cancellation of the bid became known it has been loaded with shares worth more than NOK 700 million.

Billionaire John Frederiksen, a pioneer in sectors such as shipping services and oil.
published:

The future of the Belgian carrier Euronav remains turbulent.

A week earlier, on January 9, it became known that the front controlled by Frederiksen had withdrawn from pursuing the announced offer of the Belgian competitor.

Recent records from the US financial watchdog show that from January 10 to January 13, the Fredriksen system bought 5.13 million Euronav shares at prices between 12.6 and 14.6 euros.

Based on Friday’s closing price, the shares are worth NOK 730 million, and Fredriksen System now owns 20.31 percent of Euronav’s outstanding shares.

Euronav’s stake fell sharply in the wake of the bid cancellation.

Read on E24+

This is a tug of war for shipping giant Euronav

Power struggle

For more than half a year, there has been a power struggle around Wall Street-listed Euronav.

Billionaire Frederiksen, the largest shareholder of Oslo-listed Frontline, and Belgian shipping family Saverys, the largest shareholder of Euronav, took center stage.

In short, Frederiksen wanted to create the world’s largest carrier with Euronav and Frontline, while Saverys wanted to take Euronav in a green direction and phase out the tanker business.

On Monday last week, Frontline withdrew its bid for Euronav after a successful shareholder revolt by the Saverys family, but experts expect more new conflicts – which have already occurred.

Head of Analysis: Saverys and Fredriksen want Euronav without carriers

The Saverys family is now the largest shareholder in Euronav with 25 percent of the shares.

Eirik Haavaldsen, Director of Analysis at Pareto Securities told E24 last week that it would be somewhat surprising if Frontline decided now to dump Euronav shares.

– The point is that both Saverys and Fredriksen really want the same thing, Euronav without vectors. Fredriksen wants to grow the Frontline fleet, which can be done by buying the best boats for Euronav, commented Haavaldsen.

He believes that such a solution “in many ways would be a better way to do it.”

– Then you avoid the capture of a large enterprise and you can choose the best part of the fleet. Saverys wants Euronav to stop shipping tankers, so there are two major shareholders, who together own nearly 50 percent of the shares in Euronav, in theory want the same thing.