Maersk Tankers is selling its fleet
of 15 owned Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) to Euronav for $980 million.
On Monday, Euronav's board approved plans to raise $350 million
in capital to help pay for the acquisition through the issue of additional shares.
The deal, announced over the weekend, is part of a Maersk Tankers strategy to focus on the product tanker segments.
"Last year, we disclosed our intention to reduce our exposure to the VLCC market and focus on the product segments going forward. Euronav has now presented us with a deal that supports this strategy," said Morten Engelstoft, chief executive officer of Maersk Tankers, which is an affiliate of the world's largest container shipping company, Maersk Line.
Maersk Tankers said it is is working with seafarers in order to minimize job losses.
The vessels, which have an average age of four years, will be delivered individually to Euronav over the coming months, once Maersk Tankers has fulfilled all existing contractual commitments.
The Euronav tanker fleet currently comprises one ULCC, 11 VLCCs and 23 Suezmaxes. The vessels will be operated in the Tankers International VLCC Pool of which Euronav is a founding member.
"The outlook for the large crude tanker market has improved significantly over the last months indicating a resurgence of demand and an improved near term outlook," Euronav said.
Antwerp-based Euronav also said it "will finalize in the coming days a $500 million bank debt facility as well as $235 million of mezzanine financing in order to complete the funding of the acquisition."