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Euronav’s Long-Time CEO Hugo de Stoop Ousted

In a surprise move, Euronav has announced that the company and its long-time CEO Hugo De Stoop are parting ways with immediate effect.

His departure was made by mutual agreement with Euronav’s newly appointed supervisory board. The majority of the board members have supported the decision.

Euronav NV (NYSE: EURN & Euronext: EURN) is a prominent tanker company listed on NYSE and Euronext. De Stoop’s departure marks the end of his two-decade-long tenure with the company. 

Today’s announcement comes in the wake of Euronav’s failed merger between Frontline and the appointment of new supervisory board members in March following months of tension between Euronav’s largest shareholders, Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB), controlled by the Saverys family, and Famatown Finance Limited, controlled by Norwegian shipping magnate John Frederiksen.

By vote of Euronav’s European shareholders, both Frederiksen and Marc Saverys, along with Famatown’s Cato Stonex and CMB’s Patrick De Brabandere, were appointed to Euronav’s supervisory board alongside three existing independent directors, Grace Reksten Skaugen, Anita Odedra, and Carl Trowell, who retained their position on the board.

In the interest of the company and its stakeholders CFO Lieve Logghe has agreed to take over as interim CEO to oversee the continuity of Euronav operations. Lieve, who has driven substantial improvement across the financial structure of Euronav since joining the group in 2020, will also continue in her role as CFO. 

De Stoop, who has played a pivotal role in shaping the company’s success over a span of nearly two decades, will be available to the company as a senior advisor until the appointment of a permanent successor.

“I am grateful to have spent close to 20 years helping to build a great company and supporting talented people in doing so,” De Stoop said. “With a new Supervisory Board and strong representation from the two core shareholders, now is an appropriate time for Euronav to open a new chapter in its development.”

Famatown is indirectly controlled by trusts settled by Frederiksen, who has been increasing his stake in Euronav through Famatown and related companies following the termination of the merger agreement. The merger would have resulted in the world’s largest publicly-listed oil tanker owner and operator.

CMB, controlled by the Saverys family of Belgium, holds a 25% stake in Euronav and had opposed the Frontline-Euronav merger.

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