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Noble Corporation plc announces agreement to acquire Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc.

11 Ιουνίου 2024.

noblediamondNoble Corporation plc ("Noble") (CSE: NOBLE) (NYSE: NE) and Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc ("Diamond") (NYSE: DO) announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Noble will acquire Diamond in a stock plus cash transaction.

As part of the transaction, Diamond shareholders will receive 0.2316 shares of Noble, plus cash consideration of $5.65 per share for each share of Diamond stock, representing an 11.4% premium to closing stock prices on June 7, 2024. Upon closing, Diamond shareholders will own approximately 14.5% of Noble's outstanding shares.

Noble's President and Chief Executive Officer, Robert Eifler, said, "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. Our position will be strengthened with the addition of four 7th generation drillships and one of the most high-spec harsh environment semisubmersible rigs in the world. Additionally, Diamond's five conventional deepwater and midwater rigs have averaged above 85% utilization over the last 3 years and currently have strong forward contract coverage. Supported by Diamond's $2.1 billion of backlog and $100 million of anticipated cost synergies, we expect the transaction to be immediately accretive to our free cash flow per share and contribute to accelerated growth in our return of capital to shareholders."

Diamond's President and Chief Executive Officer, Bernie Wolford, said, "This combination is an ideal outcome that provides Diamond shareholders both immediate and long-term upside potential as part of a more fully scaled platform that can deliver customer and shareholder value on a through-cycle basis, more visibly and accessibly, while gaining access to Noble's robust dividend program. Noble's operational strength, service posture and proven integration capabilities make this a natural match for Diamond. I would like to thank the entire Diamond team for delivering terrific results for our customers and shareholders. Your daily commitment to our uncompromising standards will be a perfect fit within Noble, and we look forward to continued success for our teams together on this strengthened, world class platform."

Neal P. Goldman, Chairman of Diamond, added, "I am very proud of what Diamond's employees, executives and board have accomplished. We have created tremendous value for our shareholders and customers that has culminated in a strategic merger that will continue to add value for all."

Additionally, Noble today announced that its Board of Directors has approved a 25% increase in its quarterly dividend to $0.50 per share, starting with the dividend which is to be paid in the third quarter of 2024.


Compelling Transaction Rationale, Synergies, and Value Creation Potential for all Shareholders


•Highly complementary fleets and customer coverage: On a combined basis, Noble's 14 working (15 total) dual BOP 7th generation drillships will comprise the leading tier one drillship fleet in the industry. Additionally, the Ocean GreatWhite will provide Noble with a high-spec floater capable of operating in harsh environments, while the remaining five semisubmersibles are expected to contribute meaningful contracted cash flow. The combination creates strong commercial opportunities with complementary customer bases around the world and across rig types.

•Culture commonality around safety, operational excellence and service posture: Noble and Diamond's shared commitment to these foundational principles is expected to be a driving force toward a successful and seamless integration.

•Robust combined backlog of $6.5 billion: Diamond's $2.1 billion backlog is both significantly accretive on a per share and per rig basis, but also attractively priced and structured, including an average backlog on the four 7th generation drillships of approximately two years at $460,000 per day.

•Meaningful cost synergies: Noble expects to realize annual pre-tax cost synergies of $100 million, with 75% expected to be realized within one year of closing.

•Significantly accretive to free cash flow: The transaction is significantly and immediately accretive to Noble's free cash flow per share and will facilitate Noble's ability to further augment our return of capital to shareholders.


Key Transaction Terms


•Under the terms of the merger agreement, Diamond shareholders will receive 0.2316 Noble shares and $5.65 per share in cash for each Diamond share (representing $600 million total cash paid to Diamond shareholders on a fully-diluted basis). Following the close of the transaction, Diamond shareholders will own approximately 14.5% of Noble's shares on a fully-diluted basis.

•The implied cash and stock consideration to be received by Diamond shareholders is $15.52 per share, representing a premium of 11.4% to Diamond's closing share price on June 7, 2024.

•Noble intends to fund the cash portion of the transaction through new debt financing, which Noble has secured through a $600 million committed bridge financing facility.

•At closing, the Noble Board of Directors will be expanded to include one member from the Diamond Board.

•The transaction is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including receipt of required regulatory approvals and the approval of Diamond shareholders. The transaction is expected to close by the first quarter of 2025.

•The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of each company.

Full report: Noble Corporation







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