Nordic American Tankers to Acquire Remaining Interest in Orion Tanker Pool
Nordic American Tankers Ltd today announced that it will be acquiring the remaining interest in Orion Tanker Pool (“Orion”).
NAT and Frontline Ltd. established Orion in the autumn of 2011. Since then, Orion has managed the chartering operations of the 20 NAT vessels and the nine Frontline suezmax vessels. Orion has arranged charters to high quality end users, such as oil majors and major trading houses. Recently, Orion has entered into an agreement with a subsidiary of ExxonMobil that has served as a milestone in this respect-an agreement that NAT expects to remain in place following NAT’s acquisition of 100 percent of Orion.
Frontline has advised NAT that it wishes to be more flexible in the operation of its vessels. Therefore, it has been agreed that Frontline’s nine suezmax vessels will leave Orion later this year. Effective January 1, 2013, NAT will acquire Frontline’s 50 percent shareholding in Orion at its nominal book value, and Orion will become a 100 percent subsidiary of NAT. Orion will continue to arrange charters of NAT’s fleet as in the past, enabling NAT to focus on even deeper market penetration.
NAT Chairman & CEO, Herbjorn Hansson, commented: “I met John Fredriksen (the principal shareholder of Frontline) more than 30 years ago and count him as a personal friend. We have a wonderful relationship and expect to do business with companies in the Fredriksen Group in the future – as we have done in the past. We will acquire Frontline’s 50 percent interest in Orion as mutually respected partners.”
Source: Nordic American Tankers, September 18, 2012