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Fredriksen Becomes Euronav’s Largest Shareholder

Shipping magnate John Fredriksen has increased his stake in Belgian tanker company Euronav, making him the largest shareholder.

According to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Fredriksen’s Famatown Finance Limited has acquired an additional 964,000 shares in Euronav, at $16.02 per share, taking his total stake to 26.46% of Euronav’s Ordinary Shares outstanding, from 24.99% previously.

Euronav, which recently reported its final financial results for the full year to December 2022, says it is well-positioned to benefit from a multi-year upcycle in the large crude tanker market. The company cites strong fundamentals and catalysts such as the Russian crude/product dislocation, which is expected to translate into structurally longer ton miles, and incoming maritime regulations beginning with the application of the Carbon Intensity Indicator as part of the Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) regulations that started on January 1, 2023. Euronav believes that over time the CII will act as a speed limit on shipping, pressurizing further tanker capacity.

Fredriksen’s increased stake comes in the wake Fredriksen-controlled Frontline’s termination of combination agreement with Euronav. The combination was opposed by Euronav’s previous largest shareholder, the Saverys family-controlled Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB), holding 25%. 

Following the termination of the merger agreement, Fredriksen has been increasing his stake in Euronav through Famatown and related companies.

Fredriksen’s increased stake in Euronav follows a recent shareholder vote that significantly changed the composition of Euronav’s supervisory board, with four new directors joining, including Fredriksen and Cato H. Stonex representing Famatown, and Marc Saverys and Patrick De Brabandere representing CMB.

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