Belgium’s Euronav said its shareholders had overwhelmingly voted to elect John Fredriksen of peer Frontline, a major investor that pulled out of a merger deal with the company this year, to its supervisory board.
The oil tanker and storage operator said shareholders had also approved the nomination of Marc Saverys from CMB, its largest shareholder, which opposed the Frontline merger that would have created the world’s largest publicly listed tanker company.
The composition of the group’s supervisory board is key to defining Euronav’s future strategy.
Frontline, of which Fredriksen is the majority shareholder, terminated the deal to merge with Euronav in January, and the Belgian group has disputed its peer’s right to end it, saying it failed to provide a satisfactory reason for its decision.
Shareholders also approved the appointments Cato H. Stonex, representing Frontline-aligned Famatown, which Fredriksen also owns, and Patrick De Brabandere, representing CMB.
Norwegian-born billionaire investor Fredriksen was elected with 99.75% of votes at the meeting. CMB and Frontline, which have built their Euronav stakes over the last year, get two board members each.
The new supervisory board will consist of seven members – three representatives from the former Euronav board, two representatives from CMB, and two representatives of Famatown, including Fredriksen.
“CMB and Fredriksen may already be having positive dialogue”, Jefferies says in a note.
“Getting onto the board together may be the perfect antidote for CMB and Fredriksen to work together on a long-term solution for Euronav,” it said, warning however the new composition could create some dysfunction.
Antwerp-based CMB has argued that a total overhaul of the board is necessary to put the group back on track after a tumultuous period.
Contacted by Reuters, CMB declined to comment, while Famatown was not immediately available for comment.
Euronav’s shares were up 2% at 15.21 GMT, after rising as much as 5.8%.