Noble OKs Proposals for Total Capital Reduction Payments
Noble's Board of Directors has scheduled the 2010 annual general meeting of shareholders (AGM) to be held on April 30, 2010 at 3:00 p.m., Central European Daylight Savings Time (8:00 a.m., U.S. Central Daylight Savings Time) at the at the Parkhotel Zug, Industriestrasse 14, Zug, Switzerland.
The Company also announced today that the Company's Board of Directors has approved, subject to shareholder authorization, the regular payment of a return of capital through a reduction of the par value of the Company's shares in an amount equal to Swiss francs 0.52 CHF per share in four equal installments scheduled for August 2010, November 2010, February 2011 and May 2011. The payments will be made in U.S. dollars based on the CHF/USD exchange rate available approximately two business days prior to the payment date.
Although the amount of the return of capital, expressed in Swiss francs, is fixed, the amount of the payment in U.S. dollars will fluctuate based on the exchange rate. The exchange rate as published by the Swiss National Bank on February 5, 2010 was 1.0742 CHF/1.0 USD.
In addition, the Company's Board of Directors approved, subject to shareholder authorization, a single payment of a special return of capital through a par value reduction of 0.56 CHF per share. This payment, scheduled for August 2010, will also be paid in U.S. dollars based on the CHF/USD exchange rate available approximately two business days prior to the payment date.
"Our strong cash flow, solid balance sheet and backlog, combined with confidence in the long-term favorable fundamentals of our business encouraged our Board to approve this return of value to shareholders," said David W. Williams, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Noble Corporation. "At the same time, we believe we are equipped to continue to invest in our fleet, consider additional share repurchases and capitalize on attractive opportunities in the offshore drilling industry."
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