Euronav NV entered into an agreement with Metrostar
to buy four VLCCs
, the Crude Guardian (1993 - 290,927 dwt), the Crude Creation (1998 - 298,304 dwt), the Crude Topaz (2002 - 319,470 dwt) and a newbuilding (± 318,000 dwt) to be delivered in May 2005 for USD 477.5 million en bloc. Delivery is expected to take place in March for the Crude Guardian and the Crude Creation and in April for the Crude Topaz. The vessels will be employed in the Tankers International pool that currently operates 45 VLCCs and ULCCs.
The vessels will be acquired by Euronav NV, a Belgian company and will fly the Belgian flag.
Given the market outlook, the Executive Committee is confident that the addition of the 4 vessels will be accretive to both growth and earnings of the company.
This purchase will not have any effect on the dividend policy of the company. In addition the board will meet on March 16th and will make a proposal to the General Meeting of Shareholders on the final dividend to be paid. The Executive Committee is currently intending to propose to the board a total gross dividend for 2004 of EUR 3.2 of which EUR 1.6 was paid as interim dividend on December 6th, 2004.