Photo: The Noble Lloyd Noble drilling rig. (Photo: Jamie Baikie/Equinor)

Noble Corp. emerges from Chapter 11 with renewed balance sheet

Offshore drilling contractor Noble Holding Corporation on 5 February 2021 completed its financial restructuring and its debtor-affiliates have emerged from Chapter 11 with a new parent company organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands named Noble Corporation.

To remind, Noble Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in August 2020 to restructure its debt following a severe downturn in commodity prices.

The company in November 2020 changed its name to Noble Holding Corporation plc to allow the ultimate parent company that emerges from Chapter 11 reorganization to use the name “Noble Corporation plc”.

Later that same month, the rig owner received approval from the bankruptcy court for its reorganization plan.

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Announcing its emergence from bankruptcy on Monday, the company said that, as a result of the financial restructuring, it would have a substantially delevered balance sheet with less than $400 million of debt and liquidity of approximately $600 million.

Noble’s new capital structure will include a new $675 million revolving credit facility, of which $178 million is currently drawn, and $216 million of second-lien notes.

At emergence, Noble UK’s ordinary shares were cancelled and shares of the company were issued to Noble UK’s former bondholders.

Certain former bondholders and former equity holders of Noble UK were also issued warrants to purchase shares of the company.

Noble intends to pursue listing on a national securities exchange following emergence.

The rig owner emerges with a high-spec fleet of 19 rigs, balanced across jack-ups and floaters. The fleet is one of the youngest in the industry, with an average age of seven years.

Noble’s contract backlog is currently over $1.5 billion.

“We are pleased to have completed our restructuring process and to emerge with renewed balance sheet strength and strategic flexibility”, said Robert Eifler, Noble President and Chief Executive Officer.

“The combination of this strong financial foundation with our industry-leading high-spec focused fleet, world-class employees and deep customer relationships will position us to take advantage of growth opportunities ahead”.

The rig owner has appointed to the company’s board of directors: Patrick J. Bartels Jr., Robert W. Eifler, Alan J. Hirshberg, Ann D. Pickard, Charles M. (Chuck) Sledge, and Melanie M. Trent.

Sledge was also appointed to serve as Chairman of the Board.

Commenting on the new board, Eifler continued: “We are extremely pleased to have such an experienced board of directors that will help Noble navigate the industry challenges ahead and execute on our strategic priorities”.