Although John Fredriksen has richly earned his reputation as shipping's greatest corporate raider, he has also been on what is in effect a 20-year losing streak in the crude tanker market.

Fredriksen and his public tanker company, Frontline, are 0-for-4 in consolidation over that period, having swung and missed at US-listed owners Overseas Shipholding Group (OSG), DHT Holdings, General Maritime and its successor, Gener8 Maritime.

So if Fredriksen does want to combine with Belgian tanker giant Euronav and is able to make a deal stick, it will be a return to magic the tanker king has not been able to summon since around 2001.