New developments to Frontline-Euronav legal dispute

Frontline confirms having received an arbitration request from Euronav for the proceedings of Frontline’s decision to walk from a planned merger between the two tanker giants. Frontline maintains that the termination was entirely lawful.
Photo: euronav
Photo: euronav

Frontline confirms that the tanker carrier has received a formal arbitration request from former merger partner Euronav in lieu of the latter’s claims of an unlawful termination of the merger plans, states Frontline in a stock exchange announcement.

But the carrier, controlled by Norwegian shipping tycoon John Fredriksen, makes no comment as to whether they intend to partake in the legal proceedings.

”Frontline is currently analysing this request with its legal advisors. Frontline once again confirms that its decision to terminate the combination agreement was entirely lawful,” the company writes.

In April last year, Frontline and Euronav announced plans of a merger set to create to the world’s largest crude oil tanker.

However, Belgian shipping family Saverys and their company CMB bought heavily into Euronav in attempts to prevent the merger, and finally succeeded in doing so when their stake reached 25 percent.

As a result, Frontline and Euronav inked a ”combination agreement” in July 2022 which entailed that Euronav would become a subsidiary to Frontline instead.

On Jan. 9 this year, Frontline suddenly announced its termination of said agreement, which Euronav claims as ”unilateral” and ”unfounded.”

When asked to comment on the matter by ShippingWatch, CEO of Frontline Lars H. Barstad said:

”We were prepared for CMB’s share purchase, but long, drawn-out shareholder rows in Euronav, which would have become a Frontline subsidiary, does not create value for anyone.”

Euronav’s new request for an arbitration procedure is an addition to the tanker’s previous demand for a so-called ’emergency arbitration’ procedure and a demand that the termination be suspended in the meantime.

English edit: Simon Øst Vejbæk

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