Noble Corp. completes acquisition of Pacific Drilling

Offshore drilling contractor Noble Corporation has completed the acquisition of Houston-based offshore driller Pacific Drilling, effective 15 April 2021.

Noble Roger Lewis rig; Source: Noble Corp.

The two companies entered into a definitive merger agreement in late March under which Noble would acquire Pacific Drilling in an all-stock transaction.

The merger agreement was unanimously approved by each company’s board of directors and by the majority of Pacific Drilling’s equity holders. No shareholder vote was required for Noble to close the transaction.

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Pacific Drilling’s equity holders received 16.6 million shares of Noble or approximately 24.9 per cent of the outstanding shares of Noble at closing.

Pacific stated at the time that it would move to dispose of the 2010-built Pacific Bora and the 2011-built Pacific Mistral drillships.

The offshore driller said on Friday that the addition of Pacific Drilling’s high-specification ultra-deepwater drillship fleet further enhances its “global position as an owner and operator of one of the most modern and technically advanced fleets in the offshore drilling industry”.

Robert Eifler, president and CEO of Noble Corporation, said: “I am very pleased to have closed this transaction quickly and am delighted to welcome our new employees, customers, and shareholders into the family.

This is an important step for [the company] as we continue to strengthen our fleet and focus on delivering safe and efficient services to our global customers“.

As a result of the acquisition, Noble now owns and operates a high-specification fleet of 24 rigs, with 11 drillships, 12 jack-ups, and one semi-submersible.

The company will also have a pro forma backlog of approximately $1.7 billion, split across a diverse set of customers and regions of operation.

It is worth mentioning that the merger comes after both companies recently emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Pacific Drilling completed its balance-sheet restructuring and emerged from the Chapter 11 process in early January 2021 and Noble Corp. completed its financial restructuring in February 2021.