Exmar, Golar Cease Merger Discussions

Monday, July 02, 2001
The world's two largest LNG tanker operators, Exmar and Golar LNG, have suspended merger talks, both companies said on Monday.

"We are in non-talks. For the time being we are not talking," Norway-based Golar said.

"Talks are totally stalled," said Belgium-based Exmar officials. "When someone is trying to buy our steel (ships) with overvalued shares, that's something we're not doing."

"We are willing to do a deal of like for like, shares for shares or NAV (net asset value) for NAV," officials said.

Golar raised $280 million in a private placement in May, with the intention of listing on the Oslo Stock Exchange this month and in New York later this year.

Golar is 50 percent owned by Norwegian shipping magnate John Fredriksen, who has become famous by taking his oil tanker company Frontline through three major takeovers in recent years.

The private placement will fund the acquisition of six highly prized LNG carriers and a down-payment on the construction of two more.

Exmar, the LNG division of the Belgian CMB group has one ship trading for Distrigas and six more on order in South Korean yards: five at Daewoo and one at Samsung.

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