Financially troubled offshore driller Seadrill has reached an agreement with most of its lenders on a new rescue plan that would see the company raise $350m in new financing and reduce its liabilities by over $4.9bn.
The offshore driller, which is in its second bankruptcy proceedings in the US in a few years, secured the backing of just under 60% of the lenders. The plan, if implemented, would see the current shareholders retain 0.25% of the company.
The lenders who have accepted the agreement will guarantee a loan facility of $300m and will be entitled to approximately 17% in the newly constituted Seadrill. They would also convert some $5.6bn of debt into second-priority loans of $750m and approximately 83% of the company’s shares.
John Fredriksen’s Hemen Holding is the largest shareholder in the company and has committed to finance an unsecured bond loan of $50m, convertible into 5% of the new equity.
Stuart Jackson, the CEO, commented: “It has taken time to reach the right outcome but throughout the process we have maintained strong support from our creditors and we look forward to maintaining that as they become our shareholders as well as our lenders.”
The new restructuring plan is subject to several customary terms and conditions, including approval from the Texas bankruptcy court. It comes hot on the heels of recent reports that rival offshore drillers Noble and Transocean-led consortium are looking to snap up Seadrill’s assets.