Frontline Tries for DHT Takeover Again
Billionaire President of Frontline John Fredriksen has tried again to build the world’s largest public tanker company, with a fifth offer for tanker operator DHT Holdings.
Frontline currently owns 14.5 percent of DHT, and tried to acquire the company most recently in March. However, DHT struck a deal with BW Group to fend of the acquisition which included the acquisition of 11 VLCCs for $538 million.
Frontline has now approached the Board of Directors of DHT with a proposal which includes the ships already delivered and yet to be delivered by BW Group. The offer would be effected at an exchange ratio of 0.8 Frontline shares for each DHT common share. Frontline has given DHT 24 hours to consider the deal.
“We are convinced that the proposed new combination of Frontline and DHT will maximize value for both sets of shareholders,” said Robert Hvide Macleod, Frontline CEO.
Frontline said in the statement it hoped DHT’s board would now enter talks and halt its efforts to thwart Frontline with measures that had given BW Group an unassailable advantage.
DHT said on Wednesday it would review the approach but said the new offer was not an improvement on previous ones, and the 24-hour deadline was “an unreasonably accelerated timeframe.”
However, on Thursday morning, in response to counter moves by DHT, Frontline issued a statement saying that it demanded that DHT halt all efforts to effect poison pill arrangements. Frontline has filed a complaint in the Marshall Islands (where DHT is incorporated) to against DHT’s move to permit BW Group to establish 45 percent ownership of DHT.
DHT has issued a statement saying believes that Frontline's complaint, which follows an earlier one filed in New York, is similarly without merit.
VesselsValue has valued the DHT fleet (including the 11 BW VLCCs) and the Frontline fleet in billions of dollars:
If the new deal goes ahead, the merged company would become the world's second highest valued tanker owner, says VesselsValue.