This decision is a result of the ongoing transaction announced at the beginning of October by the two largest shareholders, CMB and Frontline. The company reported this in a press release on Thursday.
In the third quarter of 2023, Euronav achieved a net profit of $114.6 million. But pending the completion of the deal between CMB and Frontline and the de facto change of control within the company, Euronav is canceling the dividend payment.
At the beginning of October it was announced that the Compagnie Maritime Belge, owned by the Belgian shipping family Saverys, would buy out the Norwegian Frontline as a shareholder in Euronav. In that deal, Frontline acquired 24 tankers from Euronav and paid $2.35 billion for them. The share was also briefly suspended.
Lieve Logghe, CFO and interim CEO of Euronav, says that the third quarter shows a typical trading pattern. “The tanker market adjusted to OPEC’s additional production and export cuts,” Logghe said. “Furthermore, we saw a slight decline in crude oil demand.”
The interim CEO indicates that shareholders now have a choice. Either they sell their shares for a good price, or they follow the new strategy under the new controlling shareholder (CMB).
Last year, a merger of Euronav was announced with competitor Frontline, led by Norwegian John Fredriksen. That merger would have created the largest oil tanker shipping company in the world. However, the Saverys family was against the merger because of a different vision of the future, and the family continued to increase its stake in Euronav to such an extent that it was able to block the merger.