John Fredriksen’s embattled Seadrill is expected to file for chapter 11 today, becoming one of the most high profile casualties of the offshore downturn.
With debts of more than $10bn, Seadrill has been flagging up a likely chapter 11 filing for a number of months now and said last month that it would file for chapter 11 no later than today.
Splash understands Seadrill has been negotiating with a number of parties, including China Merchants, to try and thrash out a deal to pare back its debts. However, chapter 11 is viewed as inevitable.
Commenting last month, Anton Dibowitz, CEO and president of Seadrill Management, said: “Our primary objective at the moment is concluding final negotiations on our comprehensive restructuring plan, which is at an advanced stage and likely to be implemented via Chapter 11 proceedings on or before 12th September 2017.”
Putting a brave face on the impending bankruptcy application, Dibowitz added: “With a young versatile fleet and upon completion of our restructuring, we will be well placed to capitalise when the market recovers.”
The restructuring of Seadrill has been the most complex financial manoeuvre in John Fredriksen’s 50-plus year career in shipping, the tycoon revealed earlier this year.
In the expected run-up to today’s announcement Seadrill shares dropped more than 10% in trading on the NYSE yesterday.