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Marshall Islands court rejects Frontline’s injunction request on DHT-BW deal

DHT Holdings has announced on Wednesday that the High Court of the Marshall Islands has denied Frontline’s attempt to block a vessel acquisition deal between DHT and BW Group.

The latest decision by the Marshall Islands court followed an earlier decision in April by the Supreme Court of the State of New York also rejecting Frontline’s attempt to interfere with DHT’s acquisition of BW’s fleet.

“On 7 June 2017, the court rejected Frontline’s arguments and issued an order denying Frontline’s motion for a preliminary injunction,” DHT stated.

“The court cited Frontline’s failure to demonstrate a probability of success on the merits of its claims. In particular, the court noted that the acquisition of BW’s fleet fell within the sound discretion of the DHT board of directors’ business judgment, and that Frontline ‘has no likelihood of success’ on any challenge to the rights plan implemented by the DHT Board, as the rights plan was a reasonable response to Frontline’s actions,” DHT added.

Frontline has sought legal means to prevent BW from taking a 33.5% stake in DHT, which is selling the stake to finance its $538m acquisition of 11 VLCCs, including two newbuildings due for delivery in 2018, from BW.

In January, John Fredriksen’s Frontline announced its intention to takeover DHT in a stock-for-stock deal. DHT followed up by rejecting Frontline and went on to negotiate the deal with BW, a move that triggered Frontline to go down the legal path.

Fredriksen told the Wall Street Journal last week, ahead of the Marshall Islands court decision yesterday, that he would likely abort the DHT takeover deal, and will instead look to buy another operator that has at least 20 VLCCs.

The Wall Street Journal report cited sources saying that a potential target for Frontline would be Gener8 Maritime Inc.

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