(Adds CEO, detail)
OSLO Jan 11 Tanker firm Frontline 2012
, controlled by shipping tycoon John Fredriksen, has
raised $310 million in a private share placing to finance plans
for further new investments, defying the depressed state of the
The loss-making company, whose shares are traded on the
Norwegian over-the-counter (OTC) market in Oslo, was spun off
from Frontline in 2011 in a move to re-finance
operations as a global glut of crude tankers keeps rates and
fleet utilisation low, and substantial scrapping is needed
before there is hope of a balance between supply and demand from
the crude industry.
In spite of the over-supplied tanker market, the firm has
committed to newbuilds and aims to be one of the major players
in liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) shipping within years.
It said on Friday the new investments included "significant
further contracts which are currently at an advanced negotiating
stage or can be exercised through existing option agreements,"
as well as the earlier announced newbuild contracts for four
Capesize and four VLGC (very large gas carrier) vessels.
"These are ships we already have on contract and we have
additional options and are working with additional shipyards on
this matter," said Frontline 2012's chief executive Jens Martin
"We're looking at several segments going forward, both dry
bulk and gas vessels," he added.
Frontline 2012 owns six VLCCs (Very Large Crude Carriers)
and four Suezmax tankers.
As of Nov. 28 Frontline 2012's newbuild programme comprised
16 newbuilds within the crude oil and petroleum product markets,
out of which four are VLGCs and four VLCCs.
(Reporting by Victoria Klesty and Joachim Dagenborg; Editing by