Schlumberger takes sizeable stake in Borr Drilling

Schlumberger, the world’s top oil services provider, has bought a stake in new Norwegian rig operator Borr Drilling.

Norwegian financial daily Finansavisen reported on Tuesday that Schlumberger had taken a 20% stake in Borr through a $220m investment, figures Schlumberger has not confirmed.

A clutch of former confidantes of John Fredriksen came together in December to make a big splash in the drilling sector in what has been described as the son of Seadrill.

Borr Drilling, formerly Magni Drilling, completed its $155m equity issue in Oslo at $2 a share just before Christmas. The proceeds from the placement were used to finance the acquisition of two modern jack-ups rigs from Hercules Offshore. A week ago Borr Drilling announced plans for a $1.35bn deal to take over Transocean’s fleet of 15 jack-ups.

Rune Magnus Lundetræ is the CEO of Borr. Lundetræ was formerly CFO at Fredriksen’s Seadrill. Another Seadrill senior exec, Svend Anton Maier, has also been poached to become Borr’s COO.
Among Borr’s directors is Tor Olav Troim (pictured, right), formerly Fredriksen’s right hand man for many of the tycoon’s businesses. Troim and Fredriksen severed ties a couple of years ago.
Borr is old Norse for son as well as a significant character in Norse mythology.

Fredriksen for his part is not hanging around either. While Seadrill remains mired in billions of debts – the most complex restructuring Fredriksen has encountered in five decades of shipping, he said earlier this year – the Norwegian tycoon has recently set about launching a new vehicle Northern Drilling with an eye on the cheap rig assets around the world.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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