CMB Launches Mandatory Takeover Bid for Euronav

“Strategic Move Signals Shift Towards Sustainability in Maritime Sector

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CMB, a prominent player in the maritime industry, has recently initiated its mandatory takeover bid for Euronav, signaling a pivotal moment that will test shareholder appetite for its vision of a sustainability-focused future for the company. The bid follows a strategic deal forged late last year to resolve a deadlock between Euronav and Frontline regarding the future trajectory of the tanker owner.

This move comes on the heels of CMB’s acquisition of a 26.12% stake in Euronav, effectively raising its total ownership to 49%, a figure that reaches 58% when factoring in related parties. As per regulatory requirements, a takeover bid becomes mandatory once a shareholder surpasses the 30% ownership threshold.

CMB has extended an offer of $17.86 per share for the remaining 42% of Euronav, providing an exit strategy for shareholders who may harbor reservations regarding the proposed transformation of Euronav into a diversified shipowner poised at the forefront of industry decarbonization efforts.

Earlier this month, Euronav shareholders assented to the acquisition of CMB’s green ships and green technology subsidiary, CMB.TECH, for a sum of $1.15 billion. Upon the conclusion of the takeover bid on March 15, the company is slated to be rebranded as CMB.TECH.

By amalgamating CMB.TECH and its fleet of 106 vessels into Euronav, CMB aims to strengthen inter-company synergies and expedite advancements in the development and deployment of environmentally sustainable solutions within the maritime sector.

The prospectus for the buyout articulates CMB’s intention for Euronav to serve as the primary entity within the CMB Group for low carbon marine and industrial applications, with a concerted emphasis on augmenting the future-proof fleet of the conglomerate. This strategic vision entails divesting less efficient or aging tankers and reinvesting the proceeds in modern vessels or implementing energy-saving technologies to optimize Euronav’s extensive fleet, thereby ensuring continued delivery of top-tier services to its clientele.

Furthermore, Euronav will be accorded priority in securing charters exceeding three months in instances where Euronav and CMB vessels vie for contracts.

CMB underscores the multifaceted benefits derived from the takeover, citing a confluence of its long-term strategic objectives and the robust financial standing and operational prowess of Euronav. For Euronav shareholders, the bid presents an attractive offer priced at $18.43 per share, aligning with the valuation at which CMB acquired its stake in November, albeit adjusted downward by a dividend of $0.57 per share.

Euronav’s extensive fleet comprises 155 vessels, inclusive of those assimilated through CMB.TECH, encompassing various categories ranging from VLCCs to container vessels and chemical tankers. Presently, 104 vessels are operational, while 51 are slated for construction, representing a substantial pipeline of growth opportunities within the company’s portfolio.

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