John Fredriksen’s Frontline is suing takeover target DHT Holdings and seeking to block its proposed $538m acquisition of the BW Group VLCC fleet so that its own offer can see a vote of DHT shareholders.

Frontline filed a 34-page complaint in New York Supreme Court Tuesday, on the same day it pitched a third offer to win control of New York-listed DHT, which is led by co-chief executives Svein Moxnes Harfjeld and Trygve Munthe.

The surprise action makes clear that assumptions Fredriksen would now retreat from his DHT pursuit and seek other acquisition targets were at best premature.