Noble strikes deal to sell rigs, in pursuit of Maersk merger

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Noble Corporation has entered into an asset purchase agreement to sell five jackup rigs in pursuit of a merger with Maersk Drilling.

It had said that upon notifying United Kingdom regulators about the proposed merger, the Competition and Markets Authority (UK CMA) made a determination that the deal would essentially lead to the substantial lessening of competition in the supply of jack-up rigs in Northwest Europe (NW Europe) – excluding Norway.

As a result, Noble proposed to divest the rigs – the Noble Hans Deul, Noble Sam Hartley, Noble Sam Turner, Noble Houston Colbert, and Noble Lloyd Noble.

The deal for the sale to a newly formed subsidiary of Shelf Drilling, Ltd. was struck to address the potential concerns identified by the UK CMA. The rigs are to be sold for a total of U$375 million.

Noble said the publication of the CMA’s final decision on the divestment’s adequacy in addressing their competition concerns is scheduled for September 1, 2022. If the buyer and related sale agreement are accepted by the CMA, Noble expects the merger to close on October 3, 2022, with the jackup divestment sale expected to close promptly thereafter.

Noble revealed that the Danish public tender exchange offer process in connection with the proposed merger has commenced. The tender exchange offer period for outstanding Maersk Drilling shares is set for August 10 to September 8, 2022.

Both drillers have operated in the Guyana-Suriname Basin. Maersk Drilling had said that both companies share a very strong conviction in the compelling industrial logic behind the creation of a world class offshore driller with the scale, capabilities, and resources to successfully serve.

The combined company will own and operate a modern, high-end fleet of floaters and jack-up rigs across benign and harsh environments, serving customers in the most attractive offshore oil and gas basins.


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