Investor Issues in U.S. Hamper CMB’s Euronav Takeover

A judge's gavel
Updated Published

FourWorld Capital Management, through funds it manages, has lodged a legal challenge in a US District Court against the bid by Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB) to acquire all outstanding ordinary shares of Euronav held by US investors.

The company, under the control of the Saverys family, reported that FourWorld, a financial advisory firm, has raised its ownership in Euronav from just below 1% to 2.41% following Euronav's acquisition of CMB.TECH. Specifically, FourWorld has purchased a minimum of 3,133,334 shares of the company, investing at least $55.8 million. CMB initiated a compulsory public offer for all Euronav shares earlier this month.

The lawsuit accuses CMB of circulating offering documents to US investors that were allegedly deceptive and contained inaccuracies. The suit aims to, among other things, prevent CMB from proceeding with its offer in the US based on these documents and seeks compensation, though the amount has not been specified.

CMB has dismissed the lawsuit as baseless and has committed to "vigorously defend against the suit."

The Belgian company asserted that the deals made between Euronav and Frontline, regarding Euronav's sale of 24 vessels to Frontline and the cessation of arbitration previously started by Euronav against Frontline, as well as CMB's sale of CMB.TECH to Euronav, were conducted fairly and at arm's length. 

CMB further stated that these transactions received the green light from the independent members of Euronav’s supervisory board and were overwhelmingly endorsed by 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”.