Transocean to Divest Gulf of Mexico Shallow and Inland Water Business Unit
Transocean Inc. has announced that it plans to pursue a divestiture of its Gulf of Mexico Shallow and Inland Water business segment. The company plans to establish the Shallow and Inland Water business as a separate, publicly traded company and is currently preparing an initial public offering of that company. Transocean Inc. expects to sell a portion of its interest in the initial public offering, which it hopes to complete by late 2002 or early 2003, subject to market conditions and other factors.
The Shallow and Inland Water business segment consists principally of jackup rig and drilling barge operations in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The business also includes the company's drilling operations in Trinidad and Venezuela. The business' fleet is currently comprised of 28 jackup rigs, three submersible rigs, 31 inland drilling barges and a platform rig, as well as nine land rigs in Venezuela. Transocean Inc. acquired these assets in early 2001, following its merger with R&B Falcon Corporation.
J. Michael Talbert, Chief Executive Officer of Transocean Inc., stated, "Through strategic transactions and the construction of high-specification floaters, Transocean has built a globally diversified offshore drilling company with a core focus on the ownership and operation of premium mobile offshore drilling rigs. The pending divestiture of the Gulf of Mexico Shallow and Inland Water business segment will enable the company to intensify its focus in this area. Proceeds generated from an initial public offering will be used primarily to continue our focus on debt reduction."
Transocean Inc. also announced that Jan Rask has joined the company to be President and Chief Executive Officer of the separate entity. Mr. Rask previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer of both Marine Drilling Companies, Inc., from 1996 to 2001, and Arethusa (Off-Shore) Limited, from 1993 to 1996.
The initial public offering of securities of the separate company will be registered under the Securities Act of 1933 and such securities will only be offered and sold by means of a prospectus. This news release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of any offer to buy any such securities, nor will there be any sale of any such securities in any state in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of such state.
Transocean Inc. is the world's largest offshore drilling contractor with more than 150 full or partially owned and managed mobile offshore drilling units, inland drilling barges and other assets utilized in the support of offshore drilling activities worldwide. The company's mobile offshore drilling fleet is considered one of the most modern and versatile in the world with 31 high-specification semisubmersibles and drillships, 28 other semisubmersibles and one drillship, and 53 jackup drilling rigs. Transocean Inc. specializes in technically demanding segments of the offshore drilling business, including industry-leading positions in deepwater and harsh environment drilling services. With a current equity market capitalization in excess of $8 billion, the company's ordinary shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "RIG."