Frontline Ltd. (NYSE: FRO) today announces that it has completed a private placement of USD 21.5 million in new equity, by issuing 600,000 shares to several institutional investors at a purchase price of NOK 246 per share. Carnegie ASA, Enskilda Securities ASA and Fearnley Fonds ASA acted as placement agents for the issue.
The proceeds from the offering will be used to equity finance the acquisition of three Suezmax tankers. The vessels are built in 1989 – 1990. The purchase price for the vessels are totally USD 66.3 million. The vessels are sister vessels of four vessels already controlled by Frontline. The deal should not be seen as a strategic move away from modern double hull tonnage, but should be seen as an opportunistic deal to maximize Frontline’s cash flow in the current strong tanker market. Based on achieving the rate which is indicated by the forward market for the next 18 months for modern Suezmaxes i.e. TC Income USD 37,000 per day, the vessels will be written down to today’s scrap level before end 2005. The existing rules allow trading of the vessels until 2010. The sister vessels controlled by Frontline have in the first half of 2004 achieved a TC income of USD 42,000 per day. The Board anticipates that the deal will lower the cash break even, improve earnings per share and increase the dividend capacity in Frontline Ltd.
July 13, 2004