JULY 2, 2015 — Billionaire John Fredriksen is putting his two tanker operations, Frontline Ltd. (NYSE/OSE/LSE: FRO) and Frontline 2012 Ltd. (NOTC: FRNT) back together again.
The move comes four years after Frontline 2012 was carved out out of Frontline in very different tanker market.
Now the two companies will enter a merger that will see Frontline become the surviving legal entity with Frontline 2012 as a wholly-owned subsidiary that will then be merged into Frontline.
"By merging Frontline and Frontline 2012 we will regain Frontline's position as a leading tanker company," said Mr. Fredriksen, who is Chairman of both companies. 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. With the current strong tanker market and attractive cash break even rates, we believe the combined company will generate significant free cash. The intention is to pay out excess cash as dividends at the Board's discretion. I am very pleased with this merger and I am determined to develop and grow the company further."
After the merger is completed the combined company will be one of the world's leading tanker companies with a total fleet of approximately 90 vessels, consisting of approximately 25 VLCCs, 17 Suezmax tankers, 16 MR product tankers and 10 LR2 Aframax tankers. This includes approximately 20 vessels on time charter in or under commercial management. The combined company will also have a newbuilding program of approximately 22 vessels, which are scheduled to be delivered in the period 2015 - 2017.