Bloomberg has reported that shares of General Maritime Corp., the second-largest US oil-tanker owner, may not rise much further after Bermuda-based Frontline Ltd. raised its stake in the company and said it would seek talks to combine the businesses, JPMorgan Chase & Co. said.General Maritime’s shares are trading at 12 percent more than $36.70, which is JPMorgan’s estimated net asset value for the company at the end of 2006, analysts Jonathan Chappell and Glen Muller said in a report last week. Net asset value is the market value of the company’s vessels less debt.
A takeover of General Maritime would be the biggest ever in the oil-tanker industry, based on today’s valuations. Frontline, the world’s biggest oil-tanker company by capacity, bought 3.76 million shares in General Maritime for $139 million between September 21 and November 30, according to a filing on Thursday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Hamilton, Bermuda-based company now holds 3.86 million shares equal to a ten percent stake, the filing said.
Ltd., a Bermuda-based owner of ships carrying liquefied natural gas, won a five-year contract to provide three ships to Royal Dutch Shell Plc. The shares rose to a three-month high.
Shell Tankers Ltd. will charter the one-year-old Golar Viking and two new LNG ships
slated for shipyard completion next year, Golar said in a statement on Friday. Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Ltd. will become technical manager of all three vessels
. Financial details weren’t disclosed.
“This is very positive for Golar,” said Bjoern Giaever, an analyst at DnB NOR Markets
in Oslo who rates the stock a “buy”, in an interview.
Golar, created by Norwegian billionaire John Fredriksen, has wagered $1.1 billion on liquefied natural gas since 2001, buying seven LNG tankers without first signing contracts for their use.
Three of the four tankers completed have had no long-term contracts generating income to cover their building costs.