Seadrill to buy Aquadrill for $958 million

Seadrill enters $958 million deal to acquire Aquadrill

Offshore drilling contractor Seadrill has entered into an agreement to acquire Aquadrill, formerly known as Seadrill Partners, in an all-stock transaction that values the UK firm at $958 million.

West Tellus drillship; Source: Seadrill. Image for illustrative purposes only.

Following completion, Seadrill shareholders and Aquadrill unitholders will respectively own 62 per cent and 38 per cent of the outstanding common shares in the company and Aquadrill will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Seadrill.

The transaction values Aquadrill at an implied equity value of approximately $958 million based on Seadrill’s 30-day volume-weighted average share price on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) of $31.25 as of 22 December.

The company will remain named Seadrill Limited and will continue to be domiciled in Hamilton, Bermuda. Julie Robertson and Simon Johnson will continue in their roles as Chair of the Board of Directors, and President and Chief Executive Officer.

The transaction has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies, and the required approval of Aquadrill’s unitholders has also been obtained. It is, however, subject to applicable regulatory approvals and other customary conditions, and is expected to close in mid-2023.

According to Seadrill, the company will have one of the youngest and most technologically advanced fleets in the industry and will own 12 floaters, including seven 7th-generation drillships, three harsh environment rigs, four benign jack-ups, and three tender-assisted rigs. Additionally, seven rigs will be managed under a variety of strategic partnerships.

It will have a combined backlog of $2.8 billion and will be “well-placed” to realize estimated annual run rate synergies of at least $70 million, the company said.

“At Seadrill we seek to deliver safe and effective operations as the bedrock for generating returns for our shareholders. Seadrill and Aquadrill have a long and rich strategic and operational management history. Our shared heritage will promote efficient integration of the two companies. I look forward to welcoming the Aquadrill fleet back into the Seadrill family,” said Johnson.

Seadrill is currently traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the main list of the Oslo Stock Exchange.

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Regarding Seadrill’s recent activities, it is worth noting that the offshore drilling contractor at the end of November secured a contract extension for one of its drillships, which will continue carrying out operations in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.