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Euronav advisor brands CMB proposals ‘very light on detail’

Euronav Euronav vessels under construction
Glass Lewis, an independent proxy advisor appointed by Euronav to appraise proposals at an upcoming shareholder meeting, has backed Euronav’s voting recommendations.

The march 23 shareholder meeting will vote on proposals from Euronav shareholder CMB to remove Euronav’s current supervisory board and replace it entirely with CMB nominees.

According to Euronav, the Glass Lewis report stated: “It is worth emphasizing CMB's materials continue to remain very light on detail, with no substantive, analytically critical operational, financial or governance commentary, and only broadly framed strategic and operational signposts indicating its intentions for the Company in the event its current effort to heavily reshuffle the board is successful.”

The debate over Euronav’s future direction is centred on a merger with Frontline. A merger agreement was signed in 2022, then Frontline unilaterally terminated the agreement in 2023. Euronav itself is in favour of consolidation, Euronav 25% shareholder CMB is against the merger, and entities aligned with Frontline and Frontline’s ownership hold their own 25% stake and are against the merger.

In a bid to appease its large shareholder factions, Euronav proposed that the existing supervisory board of five independent directors is kept, but extended with two representatives nominated by CMB and two nominated by Frontline-aligned Famatown.

For CMB, Euronav has advised shareholders to vote in Marc Saverys and Patrick De Brabandere; for Famatown, John Fredriksen and Cato Stonex.

Glasss Lewis supported each of Euronav’s recommendations for the upcoming meeting, adding some commentary.

“Euronav has indeed extended what we believe to be an entirely reasonable olive branch […] we believe the board's promoted position represents a balanced resolution which does not confer disproportionate influence or implicitly reduce the range of key strategic alternatives likely to be considered going forward,” said Glass Lewis.

“[CMB] has offered unaffiliated Euronav investors very little cause to endorse the landslide change sought here,” said the report.