Oslo: John Fredriksen’s Northern Offshore has been sold to Shandong Offshore International Company for a cash total of approximately NOK1.3b ($164.4m).
Shandong Offshore International Company is based in Qingdao and its subsidiary Blue Ocean Drilling, based in Houston, has two Gusto MSC CJ46 design deep water jack-up rigs on order at Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding with a further two options.
The acquisition will be implemented by way of an amalgamation under Bermuda law at NOK 7.59 ($0.96) per share, payable in cash and will be financed from Shandong Offshore International’s existing cash resources. The deal is subject to approval of Northern Offshore shareholders at a special general meeting to be held in around two weeks time. It expeced to be approved with 65% shareholder approval already agreed.
Yu Bing, a director of Shandong Offshore International Company, and Dr. Sun Yuanhui, chairman of Blue Ocean Drilling Limited, commented: “The acquisition of Northern Offshore Ltd. is a positive step in our vision of building a high-performing offshore drilling organization to meet the current and future needs of the Global E&P sector. By retaining the NOF leadership team, when combined with our Blue Ocean Drilling leadership, we will have assembled a highly skilled and experienced team to direct and execute on our strategies as the new Northern Offshore Ltd. going forward.”
Gary W. Casswell, president and CEO of Northern Offshore said: “This transaction represents a major milestone in Northern Offshore’s previously stated strategy to transform our company to a niche, premium jackup drilling contractor with new, state of the art assets. With the exception of the Norwegian continental shelf, NOF will be able to operate in all major petroleum resource regions around the world. Combining the four under construction high spec jackups of Blue Ocean Drilling with Northern Offshore’s two under construction state of the art jackups with deliveries in 2016 thru early 2018, we will realize organizational synergies and have the opportunity to build additional critical mass in our current operations in the North Sea and Asia Pacific as well as position us to pursue new clients in new areas.
The acquisition is expected to become effective during the first half of August.