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Frontline Says 2012 Raises $285 Million in Restructuring

Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Frontline Ltd., the oil-tanker owner that announced a restructuring plan 10 days ago, said a new company that it intends to form completed a private sale of shares that raised $285 million.

Frontline, based in Hamilton, Bermuda, rose almost 11 percent to 21.88 kroner in Oslo after the company said Frontline 2012, the new business, sold 100 million shares at $2.85 each to a group of institutional investors. Today’s sale remains subject to certain conditions and will be finalized Dec. 29, it said.

The world’s biggest operator of the largest oil tankers said Dec. 6 it plans to split the company to withstand the worst rates since 1999. The 2012 business will take control of the newest vessels as well as outstanding orders at ship yards. Frontline Ltd. said today it is still negotiating with banks and counterparts to complete the restructuring by Dec. 31 and cannot guarantee the plan will be successfully completed.

“We see it as likely that an agreement will be reached with banks and other counterparties allowing for the restructuring to be carried out,” Petter Narvestad, an analyst at Fondsfinans AS in Oslo, said in an e-mailed note today.

Frontline, which has about $1.01 billion of public debt and loans maturing over the next decade, plunged 85 percent this year in Oslo as the supply of ships swelled faster than growth in oil demand, cutting freight rates.

Tanker Returns

Returns from the largest oil tankers, known in the industry as very large crude carriers, averaged about $21,800 a day this year, according to data from Clarkson Research Services Ltd., a unit of the world’s largest shipbroker. That would be the lowest since 1999.

The global fleet of VLCCs, which haul about a fifth of the world’s oil, expanded 6 percent this year, according to data from shipping-data provider IHS Fairplay. Oil demand will expand 1 percent to 89.2 million barrels a day.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alaric Nightingale in London at anightingal1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stuart Wallace at swallace6@bloomberg.net

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