Euronav appears to be losing in its bid to force Frontline to abide by a combination agreement that would have created the world’s largest publicly-listed tanker company.
The Belgian tanker company on Tuesday reported that an emergency arbitrator which the company initiated in Belgium has dismissed its request for provisional and interim measures in relation to Frontline’s termination of the definitive combination agreement signed back in July.
The emergency arbitration request is part of Euronav’s bid to suspend Frontline’s termination of the agreement. Euronav is accusing Frontline of taking “unilateral action” that “has no basis” under the terms of the agreement and failing to provide “satisfactory justification” for its decision.
Frontline maintains that its actions in terminating the agreement were entirely lawful.
Euronav: The Analyst View
Frontline issued a statement in response to Tuesday’s ruling indicating that Euronav’s claims “have been fully dismissed” by the arbitrator” and Euronav has been ordered to pay to Frontline all costs of the proceedings, including full compensation for legal costs incurred.
“This decision strengthens Frontline’s position that its decision to terminate the combination agreement was entirely lawful,” Frontline said.
Meanwhile Euronav is also looking to bargain with major shareholders (or “related parties”) CMB and Famatown Finance, the latter of which is linked to John Fredriksen, on the make-up of the company’s supervisory board. Euronav’s update on Tuesday revealed that it offered seats proportionate to each’s stake in the company, or two each. So far CMB has responded that it is “not inclined” to agree on the offer and Famatown has not responded.
A general meeting of Euronav’s shareholders is set to take place on March 23 during which CMB, which has opposed the combination agreement, will likely try to replace Euronav’s existing Supervisory Board entirely.
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