John Fredriksen has returned to the offshore drilling market, acquiring a stake in Seadrill’s rival and one of the world’s largest rig companies, Valaris.
Famatown Finance, a company indirectly controlled by trusts settled by John Fredriksen and a member of the Seatankers, has accumulated through open market transactions around 5% of the common shares of Valaris.
Valaris has also entered into a support agreement with Famatown, granting board observer rights to a Famatown designee. The agreement also allows Famatown to appoint a board member in Valaris if it increases its ownership by an amount deemed sufficient by the board.
“Valaris welcomes the interest and investment from the Seatankers Group, who have extensive offshore drilling knowledge and experience. We appreciate the confidence expressed in the Valaris management team and board of directors, and the recognition of Valaris,” said president and CEO of Valaris, Anton Dibowitz, who previously served as CEO of Seadrill.
Fredriksen’s financially troubled rig investment, Seadrill, is set to exit Chapter 11 next year, leaving the company with creditors. He will, however, remain involved in Seadrill through a convertible loan of $50m, convertible into 5% of the new equity.