Noble Corporation to acquire Diamond Offshore, creating U.S. offshore drilling giant

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Texas-based Noble Corporation is set to acquire fellow rig owner Diamond Offshore in a merger deal, creating a U.S. offshore drilling powerhouse with a fleet of 41 rigs and a combined backlog of US$6.5 billion. 

Noble said it will acquire Diamond in a stock and cash transaction, with Diamond shareholders receiving 0.2316 shares of Noble plus US$5.65 per share in cash, an 11.4% premium to the June 7, 2024 closing stock prices. Post-merger, Diamond shareholders will hold approximately 14.5% of Noble’s outstanding shares.

Guyana-Suriname Basin currently utilizes a third of Noble’s drillship fleet |
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The merger will see Noble operate a fleet of 28 floaters and 13 jack-ups. 

Robert Eifler, Noble’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) stated, “This acquisition enables Noble to continue our journey of delivering superior innovation and value to a broad range of the leading offshore operators across the world.” 

Diamond’s five conventional deepwater and midwater rigs, with over 85% utilization in the past three years, will contribute to the strong forward contract coverage. Eifler noted, “Supported by Diamond’s US$2.1 billion of backlog and US$100 million of anticipated cost synergies, we expect the transaction to be immediately accretive to our free cash flow per share.”

Guyana is leading contributor to Noble’s 2023 revenue surge | OilNOW 

Bernie Wolford, Diamond’s CEO, remarked, “This combination is an ideal outcome that provides Diamond shareholders both immediate and long-term upside potential.” 

According to Noble, the acquisition will be funded through a US$600 million committed bridge financing facility. Noble’s board will expand to include one member from Diamond’s board. The merger, approved unanimously by both companies’ boards, is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed by Q1 2025.

Noble has secured multiple new contracts, including assignments with Murphy Oil and Harbour, while Diamond has also expanded its work, securing marketing rights for several drillships in key regions. 

This acquisition follows Noble’s 2022 merger with Maersk Drilling.

Five of the 15 drillships in Noble’s fleet are currently under contract offshore Guyana and Suriname, in aid of exploration and development works in the basin.

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