Noble has approved changing the place of incorporation of the publicly traded parent of the Noble group of companies from the Cayman Islands to Switzerland.
The Company's shareholders will be asked to vote to approve the proposed change at a shareholders' meeting, which Noble expects will be called in the near future.
If approved by shareholders, Noble expects the change of the place of incorporation to be effective as soon as practicable following review and approval by the Grand Court of the Cayman Islands, which could occur in early 2009. The reincorporation would be achieved by merging Noble Corporation, the current Cayman Islands parent company, with a newly formed Cayman Islands subsidiary of the new Swiss parent company.
Noble Corporation's Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, David W. Williams said, "After careful consideration, our Board of Directors has concluded that a change of place of incorporation to Switzerland is in the best interests of Noble's shareholders and customers. Switzerland's stable commercial and financial environment and its well-established tax regime will help us to maintain our competitive position in the global marketplace."
Upon completion of the transaction, the Noble parent company will continue to be subject to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reporting requirements, and its shares will be listed exclusively on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "NE", the Company's current trading symbol.
"At this point, we are continuing to evaluate whether relocating our corporate headquarters to Switzerland would be in Noble's best interest and the best interests of our shareholders," added Williams. "If we conclude that relocation is appropriate, we could begin to move personnel at any time, either before or after we conclude the transaction."
Full details of the transactions, and the associated benefits and risks, will be provided in the Company's proxy statement with respect to the shareholders' meeting.
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