The Office of Fair Trading for the United Kingdom (OFT) announced that, subject to satisfactory undertakings from the parties, it has decided not to refer the proposed merger of GlobalSantaFe Corporation (NYSE: GSF) and Transocean Inc. (NYSE: RIG) to the U.K. Competition Commission for further investigation. Instead, the OFT considers that the undertakings offered by the parties to divest GlobalSantaFe floaters that would be working in the U.K. sector of the North Sea absent the merger will remedy the possible antitrust concerns identified in the course of its first stage review. The parties' offer of divestiture includes the GSF Arctic II and the GSF Arctic IV but does not include any jackup rigs. A third GlobalSantaFe floater presently working in the North Sea, the GSF Arctic III, is expected to leave the North Sea upon completion of its current contract, and on that basis was not included in the parties' offer.
In view of today's decision by the OFT, the parties still expect to close the transaction as scheduled on Nov. 27, 2007, subject to remaining closing conditions.
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