Report: Frontline in Talks with Gener8 as It Abandons DHT Pursuit

After several unsuccessful attempts aimed at acquiring DHT Holdings and a couple of lawsuits against the company, Norwegian tanker owner and operator Frontline is said to be dropping its acquisition plans and eyeing another company.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Frontline’s CEO John Fredriksen said that “the company would likely drop” the monthslong pursuit. Furthermore, Fredriksen revealed that he was looking into the purchase of another operator that ran at least 20 VLCCs.

The WSJ reported that the likely candidate for the purchase is U.S.-listed Gener8 Maritime Inc, adding that talks are already underway on potential merger but that a final deal had not been reached yet.

Gener8 Maritime operates a fleet of 23 tankers and a possible vessel combination deal with Frontline would result in the creation of the world’s biggest tanker fleet, featuring 43 very large crude carriers.

John Fredriksen-controlled tanker owner launched discussions with its compatriot counterpart in January this year seeking to acquire all of the company’s outstanding shares of common stock in a stock-for-stock transaction at a ratio of 0.725 Frontline shares for each DHT share.

However, DHT’s Board turned down several offers from Frontline, including the latest one worth USD 765 million, deeming them inadequate.

Separately, DHT Holdings inked a deal to buy eleven very large crude carriers, including two newbuildings due for delivery in 2018, from BW Group Limited for USD 538 million.

As a result of the acquisition, DHT will have a fleet with an average age of 6.9 years, consisting of 30 VLCCs, including four newbuildings set for delivery in 2018, and two Aframaxes.

World Maritime News Staff

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