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CMB’s takeover of Euronav hit by investor hurdle in the US

Alexander Saverys

Posted on February 28, 2024

Funds managed by FourWorld Capital Management have filed a complaint in a US District Court regarding Compagnie Maritime Belge’s (CMB) offer to purchase all outstanding ordinary shares of Euronav from US holders.

The Saverys family-controlled company said that FourWorld, an investment adviser firm, has increased its stake in Euronav from just under 1% to 2.41% since Euronav acquired CMB.TECH. Namely, FourWorld bought at least 3,133,334 shares in the company for at least $55.8m. CMB officially launched a mandatory public takeover bid on all shares in Euronav earlier this month.

The complaint alleges, among other things, that CMB disseminated materially false and misleading offering materials relating to the US offer. The complaint seeks, among other relief, an injunction restraining CMB from completing the US offer based on such offering materials and an award of damages in an unspecified amount.

The Belgian firm said on Tuesday the suit was without merit and that it intends to “vigorously defend against the suit”.

“[The] transactions entered into between Euronav and Frontline in connection with Euronav’s sale of 24 vessels to Frontline and the termination of the arbitration that Euronav previously commenced against Frontline, and CMB’s sale of CMB.TECH to Euronav, were on arms’ length terms and conditions and that the sale prices were fair to Euronav and its shareholders,” the company explained.

CMB noted that these transactions were approved by the independent members of Euronav’s supervisory board and were supported by an overwhelming majority of shareholders after FourWorld’s representative had the opportunity to raise objections at Euronav’s recent shareholder meetings at which the supervisory board provided detailed responses.

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