FILE PHOTO: Norwegian-born shipping tycoon John Fredriksen speaks in Oslo, Norway, June 1, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins/File Photo

Euronav Shareholders Vote on Board Shake-Up After Merger Termination

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 1754
March 23, 2023

In the wake of the failed merger between Frontline and Euronav (NYSE: EURN & Euronext: EURN), European shareholders of the Belgian tanker company have followed the company’s recommendations in a vote that will significantly change the composition of Euronav’s supervisory board.

The outcome follows months of tension between Euronav’s largest shareholders, Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB), controlled by the Saverys family, and Famatown Finance Limited, controlled by Norwegian shipping magnate John Frederiksen.

Euronav shareholders have opted to retain former independent directors Grace Reksten Skaugen, Anita Odedra, and Carl Trowell while approving a resolution proposed by CMB to replace Anne-Hélène Monsellato and Steven Smith. The supervisory board will welcome four new directors: John Frederiksen and Cato H. Stonex, representing Famatown Finance Limited, and Marc Saverys and Patrick De Brabandere, representing CMB.

Famatown is indirectly controlled by trusts settled by Frederiksen, who has been increasing his stake in Euronav through Famatown and related companies to over 22% following the termination of the merger agreement. The merger would have resulted in the world’s largest publicly-listed oil tanker owner and operator.

CMB, controlled by the Saverys family of Belgium and holding a 25% stake in Euronav, had opposed the Frontline-Euronav merger. In January, CMB requested a general shareholders meeting to vote on resolutions that sought to replace the entire supervisory board with their own preferred candidates.

Euronav has spent the past few months campaigning shareholders to reject CMB’s resolution, at least in part, criticizing it of attempting a “back-door” takeover of control and seeking to implement “a risky and self-interested strategy” that has not been clearly defined.

Euronav has maintained that its recommendations for the supervisory board would provide proper representation and balance based on stakeholders’ interests. With the shareholders’ vote now solidifying the board’s composition, Euronav aims to move forward amidst the fallout of the failed merger and the ensuing battle between its largest shareholders.

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