Noble Corp. to Acquire Pacific Drilling

Noble Corp. to Acquire Pacific Drilling
Noble's CEO said the deal boosts his company's presence in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

Noble Corp. will acquire Pacific Drilling Co. LLC in an all-stock transaction, the companies reported Thursday.

Under the definitive merger agreement, Pacific Drilling’s equity holders will receive 16.6 million shares of Noble – approximately 24.9% of outstanding Noble shares – at closing, the companies noted in a written statement. The firms pointed out that no shareholder vote is required for Noble to close the deal, and they stated both companies’ boards have unanimously approved the agreement.

“The acquisition of Pacific Drilling will enhance our position in the ultra-deepwater market through the addition of its technologically advanced ultra-deepwater drillships, which are highly complementary to Noble’s existing fleet,” remarked Noble President and CEO Robert Eiflernoble . “By bringing these modern drillships into the Noble fleet, we will be able to better serve the needs of our customers globally and to participate in a wider range of drillship tender activity. The combination brings together two companies who share a common culture prioritizing safety and operational excellence.”

Eifler also noted the deal expands and bolsters Noble’s relationship with certain key customers, eases re-entry into the West African and Mexican regions, and strengthens the company’s U.S. Gulf of Mexico presence.

“Bringing together the Pacific Drilling and Noble fleets creates a stronger and more stable combined company with the scale to provide solutions for our clients on a global basis,” commented Pacific Drilling CEO Bernie Wolford. “This combination will advance the ongoing recovery in the industry and will allow Pacific Drilling equity holders to fully participate in that recovery. I would like to personally thank the entire Pacific Drilling team for their unwavering commitment to delivering safe, efficient, and reliable services to our customers, and we look forward to working with Noble to successfully integrate the two companies.”

With the transaction, which is expected to close next month, Noble expects to own and operate a 24-rig fleet including 11 drillships, one semisubmersible, and 12 jack-ups. Moreover, it anticipates an approximately $1.7 billion backlog across various regions and customers. In addition, Noble stated that its principal executive offices will remain in Sugar Land, Texas, and that it expects no changes to its board or executive management team.

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