Frontline oil tanking companies merge
OSLO, July 2, 2015 – Two of the world’s largest oil tanker companies, Frontline and Frontline 2012, will be merged in a $1.5-billion deal, their owner has announced.
Billionaire John Fredriksen will merge the Oslo-listed companies into a single enterprise with an expanded market share.
“By merging Frontline and Frontline 2012 we will regain Frontline’s position as a leading tanker company,” Fredriksen said. “The combined company will have a large fleet and a strong balance sheet which puts us in a position to gain further market share through acquisitions and consolidation opportunities.”
The companies were split up in 2011 to avoid a default in the face of falling rates for tanking. The split created Frontline 2012, which took over outstanding orders.
Their merger will involve the purchase of Frontline 2012 by Frontline through the issue of $1.5 billion worth of shares to Frontline 2012 owners.
The reintegrated company will have a fleet of around 90 vessels, including VLCCs and Suezmax tankers. Another 22 newbuilds are scheduled for delivery between 2015 and 2017.
Shares in Frontline have surged recently as onshore storage fills up and companies turn to offshore options.