China Oilfield Services Limited announced that it has reached an agreement with Awilco Offshore ASA, the Oslo Stock Exchange-listed offshore drilling company, to launch a recommended voluntary cash tender offer for 100% of the shares of AWO. A cash consideration of NOK 85 will be offered per share, which implies a total consideration for all shares of approximately NOK 12.7 billion (approximately US $2.5 billion). The Offer represents a premium of 18.7% over the closing price of AWO shares on July 4, 2008 and a premium of 42.4% over the closing price on May 29, 2008, the last day prior to AWO confirming a third party had expressed an interest in acquiring the company.
AWO's Board of Directors has unanimously decided to recommend the Offer. In addition, Awilco AS and Aweco Holding AS, representing in aggregate 40.11% of the outstanding shares in AWO, have undertaken to accept the Offer with respect to their shareholdings in AWO.
The Offer will be made by COSL Norwegian AS, a Norwegian limited liability company 100% owned by COSL. The acquisition will be financed by way of internal resources of COSL and committed external financing from banks.
The combination of COSL and AWO would create the world's 8th largest rig fleet, consisting of 34 operated rigs, including rigs under construction, with operation and growth opportunities in most major international markets.
AWO's modern high-specification rigs and cutting-edge technology for offshore drilling is a good strategic fit for COSL pursuant to its globalization and growth strategies.
AWO is an international offshore drilling contractor owning and operating five jack-up drilling rigs and two accommodation units. Another three jack-up drilling rigs and three semi submersible drilling rigs are under construction. AWO also holds options for the construction of two semi submersible drilling rigs.
COSL currently operates 15 drilling rigs, including 11 jack-ups and 3 semi-submersibles while operating one leased jack-up rig. In addition, COSL owns and operates the largest and most diverse fleets in offshore China, including 75 support vessels and 4 oil tankers, 5 chemical tankers, 8 seismic vessels, and 4 geotech survey vessels.
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