The Saverys family-controlled Compagnie Maritime Belge (CMB) officially took control of Euronav yesterday with John Fredriksen selling his stake in the tanker giant in return for 24 Euronav VLCCs.

Now with 49.05% of the shares in Euronav, CMB unveiled a brand new management yesterday with Alexander Saverys taking over from Lieve Logghe as CEO, to go alongside his existing CEO role at CMB. Ludovic Saverys takes on the CFO role, as he does at CMB, while Michael Saverys joins the board too as chief chartering officer. Other appointments include Maxime Van Eecke coming in as chief commercial officer and Benoit Timmermans becoming chief strategy officer. 

Alexander Saverys said he was delighted that the “strategic and structural deadlock” of the past two years had passed, and the time had come “to write a new chapter for Euronav”, a company his family has largely controlled for most of this century. 

“Our immediate focus will be to continue to run the company as the best-in-class tanker platform, whilst we will at the same time engage with the new supervisory board on how to execute a strategy around diversification and decarbonisation,” Saverys said. 

CMB wants to diversify the fleet of Euronav into different shipping segments to decrease the dependence on the transportation of crude oil. This does not mean exiting the tanker business altogether, CMB has stressed, but a gradual decrease of the share of revenues coming from pure crude oil transportation by adding different future-proof shipping asset types to the Euronav portfolio, potentially from the CMB and CMB.TECH fleet. Future-proof in CMB’s view means efficient low-carbon emitting ships and/or ships powered by hydrogen or ammonia.

Euronav is left with a fleet of 18 VLCCs and 24 suezmaxes while Frontline becomes the largest publicly traded tanker owner, its fleet capacity leaping by 58% to 19.7m dwt.

“For Frontline, this is also the start of a very interesting chapter, with its VLCC fleet more than doubling into 2024,” commented an update today from Pareto Securities.