John Fredriksen has moved to take full control of Northern Drilling. The Norwegian tycoon’s privately held Hemen Holding has acquired enough shares in the rig investment company to take its ownership above 40%, triggering an obligation to make a mandatory offer for the rest of the shares.
Hemen will put forward a mandatory offer to acquire all Northern Drilling shares not held by Fredriksen at NOK 17 per share, which exceeds the highest price Hemen has paid for shares during the last six months. The bid values the company at around NOK274.3m ($31.3m).
Last year, Northern Drilling cancelled resale contracts with South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) for ultra-deepwater drillships West Libra and West Aquila, citing delays in delivery as well as a repudiatory breach of contract. The deal was struck in May 2018 at $296m for each drillship, with deliveries scheduled for January and March 2021 or earlier.
In December, Fredriksen also acquired a stake in one of the world’s largest rig companies, Valaris. As of January, he has accumulated around 6.2% of the common shares of the New York-listed rig company through Famatown Finance.