Euronav is set to acquire four Japanese-built very large crude carriers (VLCC) for $342m, in a bid to bolster its position in the crude tanker industry.

As part of an agreement signed by the company, the three-year-old vessels will be bought on an ‘en bloc’ basis in order to expand and complement its existing fleet.

The company is planning to raise $100m through this private placement and an additional $200m in bank debt for funding the proposed acquisition.

Under the agreement, three vessels are expected to be delivered in the third and fourth quarter of this year, while the last unit will be handed over in the second quarter of 2015.

“The three-year-old vessels will be bought on an ‘en bloc’ basis in order to expand and complement its existing fleet.”

Petercam, which is acting as global coordinator and settlement agent for the transaction, will enter into a share swap agreement to deliver listed shares to all investors in the private placement.

DNB Markets and Deutsche Bank will be the joint book runners for placing of the shares, along with Petercam.

The company’s VLCC fleet, which operates in the Tankers International pool, earned on average $19,150 a day during the second quarter of 2014.

During the fourth quarter of 2013 and first quarter of this year, the company also saw a rise in tanker freight rates due to an increased demand for crude oil.