UK: Ensco to Acquire Pride International

 

Ensco plc and Pride International, Inc. jointly announced today that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Ensco will combine with Pride in a cash and stock transaction valued at $41.60 per share based on Ensco’s closing share price on 4 February 2011. The implied offer price represents a premium of 21% to Pride’s closing share price as of the same date and a premium of 25% to the one month volume weighted average closing price of Pride. The definitive merger agreement was unanimously approved by each company’s board of directors.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Pride stockholders will receive 0.4778 newly-issued shares of Ensco plus $15.60 in cash for each share of Pride common stock. Upon closing, and reflecting the issuance of new Ensco shares, Pride stockholders collectively will own approximately 38% of Ensco’s outstanding shares.

Ensco expects the combined company to realize annual pre-tax expense synergies of at least $50 million for full year 2012 and beyond. The combination is projected by Ensco management to be immediately accretive to Ensco’s earnings and cash flow per share before synergies.

The transaction will create the second largest offshore driller in the world with 74 rigs spanning all of the strategic, high-growth markets around the globe. The combined company will have 21 ultra-deepwater and deepwater rigs, forming the second largest/youngest fleet able to drill in water depths of 4,500’ or greater. In addition, the combined company will have more active jackup rigs than any other driller. Mid-water rigs will represent 8% of the combined fleet.

Based on the closing price of each company’s shares on 4 February 2011, the estimated enterprise value of the combined company is $16 billion. The total estimated revenue backlog for the combined company is approximately $10 billion.

Strategic Fit

Ensco plc’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Dan Rabun stated, “The combination is an ideal strategic fit, as our rig types, markets, customers and expertise complement each other with minimal overlap. Pride has gained valuable expertise building and operating ultra-deepwater semisubmersibles and drillships and has strong relationships with leading customers in Brazil and West Africa, two of the fastest-growing deepwater markets in the world. Ensco is a leading provider of premium jackups and ultra-deepwater semisubmersible rigs with a major presence in the North Sea, Southeast Asia, North America and the Middle East. Together, we will form an even stronger company that is ideally positioned to capitalize on growth opportunities within our industry.”

Mr. Rabun added, “We share the same core values through our dedication to safety, ethics, operational excellence, employee development, customer satisfaction and disciplined risk management. These values form the foundation of our future growth.”

Pride International’s President and Chief Executive Officer Louis Raspino added, “The combination of Pride and Ensco creates an offshore contract driller with many of the attributes needed to ensure long-term success in our business. I have always been an advocate of scale, believing that a company with critical mass is afforded numerous benefits, including operational efficiencies, marketing advantages and the ability to attract and retain talented individuals that will help to secure a strong future for our company.

“The diverse composition of the fleet, with significant exposure to high-specification capabilities in both the floating and jackup rig segments, a solid and conservative approach to managing through the complexities of our business, aided by one of the industry’s strongest balance sheets and proven leadership that has demonstrated consistent execution and commitment to growth, makes the combination of Pride International and Ensco plc a premier alternative for investors and the driller of choice for our clients.

“Pride stockholders will receive newly-issued Ensco shares that provide them an ongoing interest in a world-class offshore driller with significant growth potential, as well as a cash component, that combined, represents a substantial premium for Pride’s shareholders.”

[mappress]

Source: Ensco, February 7, 2011;

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