Tidemand appeals Belships

Tidemand family have appealed Oslo Stock Exchange resolution regarding their failed bid to take over Belships. Belships has since merged with Frode Teigen’s Lighthouse. Frode Teigen takes $70 million stake in Belships after closing merger with Lighthouse. Tidemand family claim Oslo Stock Exchange’s rules on sales of large shareholdings fail to protect the interests of minority shareholders of Belships. Kristin Tidemand explained that Belships case of material importance to all investors in the Norwegian stock market. Belships case addresses the question of how legitimate it is to give certain main shareholders the benefit of being paid above market values prior to a merger transferring control to the new main shareholder, while the minority shareholders are left with no option to exit in a falling market. A few other minority shareholders in Belships have endorsed Tidships’ submission to Oslo Stock Exchange Appeals Committee. Kristin Tidemand, her father Otto Tidemand and her sister Caroline Tidemand own a 10.6% stake in the Oslo-listed bulk carrier shipowner Belships through Tidships. Tidships launched an unsuccessful takeover bid for Belships in 2018.

In February 2018, Tidships’ bid was prompted when Sverre Tidemand and brother of Otto Tidemand hired ABG to undertake a strategic review of his 67.05% Belships stake, which was held by his company Sonata. Sonata rejected Tidships’ offer of NOK 5.50 ($0.64) per share for all Belships’ outstanding shares. Later on, Sonata sold a 30.2% stake at NOK 7.00 ($0.82) per share to Kontrari. Kontrari is an entity that is owned by investor and shipowner Frode Teigen. In September 2018, Tidships filed a protest with Oslo Stock Exchange. Tidships complained that the deal should have triggered a voluntary offering from Frode Teigen’s Kontrari to all other shareholders at the offer price and asked the exchange to request such an offering.

Oslo Stock Exchange declined on the basis that voluntary offerings are triggered only when more than 33.3% of an Oslo-listed company is offered for sale. Belships’ stock sale to Kontrari, which has a 69.8% shareholding subsequent to the transaction, was subject to Belships merging with Frode Teigen’s dry cargo shipping operation, Lighthouse Shipholding. 10 December 2018, Belships merger with Lighthouse was closed on. Currently, Belships has 8 supramax and 9 ultramax bulk carriers.