Pride International announced that its Board of Directors has approved the spin-off of Seahawk Drilling, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Pride that owns 20 mat-supported jackup rigs operating in the Gulf of Mexico. The spin-off to Pride stockholders will be concluded by way of a pro-rata stock dividend.
The distribution of Seahawk common stock is expected to occur on August 24, 2009, with each Pride stockholder receiving one share of Seahawk common stock for every 15 shares of Pride common stock held at the close of business on August 14, 2009. The closing of the distribution is subject to satisfaction or waiver of customary conditions. Immediately following the distribution, Pride stockholders will own 100% of the outstanding common stock of Seahawk. Pride has received a private letter ruling from the Internal Revenue Service with respect to the tax-free status of the distribution and certain related transactions.
The common stock of Seahawk will be traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Common Market under the symbol "HAWK." Pride common stock will continue to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "PDE."
Louis A Raspino, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pride International, Inc., stated, "Following the sale of an estimated $1.7 billion in non-strategic assets and over $3 billion invested or committed to expansion in the deepwater segment, the separation of Seahawk Drilling completes the transition phase of our company. During this transition, we successfully executed the strategic redirection of Pride International by focusing our asset base in the floating rig segment, especially deepwater drilling, where we believe the best long-term growth prospects reside in the offshore industry. The success of our transition has positioned the company to compete more effectively in the global deepwater drilling segment and should facilitate future growth opportunities."
In closing, Raspino added, "With the spin-off of Seahawk, investors will have two unique investment alternatives in the offshore drilling industry: Pride International, with a near pure focus in the global floating rig segment; and Seahawk Drilling, the industry's natural gas drilling alternative with a concentration in the shallow water Gulf of Mexico."
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