Noble And Maersk Drilling Create Leader In Offshore Drilling
After almost a year since its announcement, offshore drilling contractors Noble Corporation and Maersk Drilling have completed their business combination.
The transaction, announced in November 2021, concluded through the completion of Noble's recommended voluntary public share exchange offer to the shareholders of Maersk Drilling. The companies are now operating as a single organization as of October 3, 2022.
"Today marks an exciting new chapter as we bring together these two exceptional companies. The fundamental industrial logic of the combination is clear and has only grown stronger over the past year, driven by steady improvements in the offshore drilling market and a deeper appreciation of the immense talent across this newly combined team.”
“I'd personally like to thank the employees of both companies for their sustained focus on safety, integrity, and service as we have worked through this demanding transaction process. I look forward to supporting this team through a rapid integration as we aim to position Noble as a new and dynamic leader in offshore drilling," Noble's President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Eifler said.
"Today's combination of Noble and Maersk Drilling represents a defining moment in the history of offshore drilling. We are excited to join forces with Maersk Drilling's talented team and embark on this journey together as a combined company. I am confident that Noble is now better positioned to deliver enhanced value to all our customers and shareholders," Charles M. Sledge, Noble's Chairman of the Board of Directors, added.
Consistent with the strategic rationale described in the merger announcement, the combination creates significant operational and financial opportunities for Noble's customers, shareholders, and employees through a world-class fleet. It is among the youngest and highest specification fleets in the industry, with global scale and diversification and a combined track record of industry-leading utilization.
The combined company is supported by a contract backlog of over $4 billion and a conservative balance sheet with low leverage and significant liquidity, Noble is set up to be a strong platform for cash flow generation and distribution potential.
Noble said that it received preliminary commitments from a group of banks to enter a $350 million, 3-year term loan to replace the existing Maersk Drilling syndicated facilities. Additionally, Noble has received a preliminary commitment for a $150 million, 3-year term loan to replace the existing Maersk Drilling loan with Danish Ship Finance.
Noble expects to close the previously announced sale of five jack-up rigs – the Noble Hans Deul, Noble Sam Hartley, Noble Sam Turner, Noble Houston Colbert, and Noble Lloyd Noble – to Shelf Drilling on October 5 for cash proceeds of $375 million.
The U.S. offshore driller added that, based on the closing of the business combination, investors should not rely on Noble's previously issued financial guidance for 2022, which is no longer applicable on a combined company basis.
It is worth noting that Claus V. Hemmingsen, Alastair Maxwell, and Kristin H. Holth have been appointed to the Noble board of directors, which now comprises seven people. The other members are Charles M. Sledge, Alan J. Hirshberg, Ann D. Pickard, and Robert W. Eifler.
Also, Caroline Alting has been named as the Senior Vice President of Operation Excellence and Mikkel Ipsen as the Vice President of Human Resources of Noble.
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