Frontline Says There's Still Room for Takeovers

Wednesday, March 14, 2001
Tanker operator Frontline, which announced on Wednesday it planned to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, said that there could be room in the tanker market this year for more acquisitions.

"There aren't too many (acquisition targets) left," Frontline Financial Director Tor Olav Troim said. "Together with Worldwide and Teekay, I think we've pretty much cleaned up the market. But there's two or three things to be done, so let's see what happens this year."

Frontline, which is 40 percent owned by Norwegian shipping magnate John Fredriksen, owns a fleet of 29 Suezmax (million-barrel) tankers and 32 VLCCs. Troim said the focus would remain on the bigger tankers, rather than the small Aframax tankers, which are making impressive earnings this year. "I think we said from the start that we were only in the VLCC and Suezmax markets," he said. "If we were to do anything (with Aframaxes) we'd only do it by taking a major share of the market. We wouldn't buy two or three ships here or there." The Aframax market is currently dominated by New York-listed Teekay.

Frontline expects that its new listing on the NYSE will not take place until approximately the middle of June. - (Reuters)

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