Tidewater to Acquire ENSCO's Marine Vessel Fleet

Tidewater Inc. has entered into an agreement with ENSCO International Incorporated to acquire ENSCO's 27-vessel Gulf of Mexico based marine fleet.

The five anchor handling towing-supply vessels, six modern large capacity 220-foot "stretched" platform supply vessels, 13 standard supply vessels and three utility vessels are being acquired for a cash price of $79 million. Also included in the agreement is a provision which affords Tidewater the opportunity to provide supply, anchor handling and towing vessels to ENSCO for its Gulf of Mexico operations. ENSCO is one of the world's premier drilling contractors. The transaction is subject to regulatory review and is expected to close in early April 2003.

"We view this as an outstanding opportunity for Tidewater and its shareholders," commented Dean E. Taylor, CEO and President of Tidewater. "This acquisition will place Tidewater in a better competitive position in the business of anchor handling and towing-supply services in the Gulf of Mexico. The six very capable stretched and upgraded platform supply vessels certainly help us to accelerate our domestic fleet replacement program. The remaining vessels allow us to better position ourselves for an upturn in the domestic market. Additionally, we are looking forward to the opportunity to welcome many of the professional mariners of ENSCO as Tidewater employees."

The acquisition will be financed through a group of banks already participating in Tidewater's revolving credit facility.