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Euronav board wipe meeting scheduled

Euronav Euronav Cap Philippe
A special meeting of Euronav shareholders has been scheduled at the request of CMB with one main aim – the replacement of Euronav’s supervisory board.

On January 16, Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB) submitted a request for a Euronav special shareholders meeting. As a shareholder with over 10% of the outstanding shares in Euronav, Belgian law essentially guaranteed CMB’s request was granted.

The meeting has been scheduled for 23 March 2023 at 1400 hrs with an agenda as put forward by CMB in its January 16 request – the dismissal of the Euronav supervisory board and the appointment of a new supervisory board including two CMB-related members.

The meeting is another step in the ongoing saga of the attempt to merge Euronav and fellow VLCC owner-operator Frontline. An agreement to merge the companies was signed in 2022, but in January 2023 Frontline unilaterally terminated the agreement.

CMB has a 25% stake in Euronav and has been against the merger with Frontline since it was first proposed. CMB previously formally approached a supervisory board member requesting the merger be terminated, and in May 2022 attempted to install three new directors to Euronav’s board at its 2022 AGM to prevent the merger. CMB failed to gather enough shareholder backing to appoint the new directors at the 2022 AGM.

The current attempt to replace the supervisory board comes as Euronav pursues legal action to prevent Frontline walking away from the merger deal. Two arbitrations are underway. A judgment is expected February 7 in an emergency arbitration to halt the termination of the merger pending legal review, and another is underway to decide whether Frontline was within its rights to terminate the merger agreement.

Euronav CEO Hugo de Stoop said in a recent earnings call that he and the rest of Euronav management support the consolidation of the tanker market.

“As far as Euronav is concerned, we definitely continue to believe that bigger is better. We do believe that there are economies that can come with it. We do believe that the way we can service our clients who themselves are becoming bigger and bigger, will be better,” said de Stoop.