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Shareholder referendum on Euronav cleantech plan begins

Photo: euronav euronav.jpeg
CMB has launched its mandatory takeover bid for Euronav, a test of shareholder appetite for its vision of a sustainability-focussed future for the company.

CMB’s bid for the outstanding shares in Euronav is the result of a deal made late last year to break a stalemate between Euronav and Frontline over the future of the tanker owner. Under the arrangement, CMB acquired a 26.12% stake in Euronav, bringing its total stake to 49%, 58% when its related parties are accounted for.

A takeover bid is mandatory when a shareholder takes its stake over 30%, and the CMB offer of $17.86 per share for the remaining 42% of the company will give an off-ramp for shareholders who lack confidence in the plan to transform Euronav into a diversified shipowner at the forefront of the decarbonisation of the industry.

Euronav shareholders agreed earlier this month to purchase CMB’s green ships and green technology arm CMB.TECH for $1.15bn. The company is set to be renamed CMB.TECH on closing of the takeover bid on March 15.

CMB’s has placed CMB.TECH and its 106 vessels within Euronav to foster ties within the companies and accelerate progress in the development and application of green solutions in the maritime industry. 

“The intention of [CMB] is for Euronav to become the main entity within the CMB Group for low carbon marine and industrial applications and will focus on growing the future-proof fleet of the CMB Group,” the buyout prospectus said.

“By divesting less efficient/older tankers and re-investing the proceeds in newbuildings/modern second hand vessels or technical upgrades (e.g. energy saving devices), [CMB]  wants to optimize Euronav’s large remaining fleet of tankers to continue offering the best fleet to its customers

Euronav will have priority on charters of over three months where Euronav and CMB vessels compete.

CMB said the benefits it saw from the takeover were a combination of its long term strategy and the financial strength and operational excellence of Euronav. For Euronav shareholders, the benefit is the bid price, said CMB, set at the level of $18.43 CMB paid for its stake in November, minus a $0.57 dividend per share.

Euronav’s fleet stands at 155 vessels, including those acquired with CMB.TECH. 104 ships are on the water and 51 are newbuild orders. The on the water fleet comprises two FSOs, 17 VLCCs, 22 suezmaxes, three newcastlemaxes, two container vessels, two chemical tankers, 53 CTV vessels, two passenger ferries and one tugboat.

Four VLCCs and four suezmaxes are under construction, as well as 23 newcastlemax and two coaster bulkers, six chemical tankers, four CTV vessels and five CSOV vessels.