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Ensco to acquire Atwood Oceanics

Ensco and Atwood Oceanics jointly announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Ensco will acquire Atwood in an all-stock transaction. The definitive merger agreement was unanimously approved by each company’s Board of Directors.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Atwood shareholders will receive 1.60 shares of Ensco for each share of Atwood common stock, for a total value of $10.72 per Atwood share based on Ensco’s closing share price of $6.70 on 26 May 2017. This represents a premium of approximately 33% to Atwood’s closing price on the same date. Upon close of the transaction, Ensco and Atwood shareholders will own approximately 69% and 31%, respectively, of the outstanding shares of Ensco. There are no financing conditions for this transaction.

Ensco expects to realize annual pre-tax expense synergies of approximately $65 million for full year 2019 and beyond. The combination is expected to be accretive on a discounted cash flow basis.

“The combination of Ensco and Atwood will strengthen our position as the leader in offshore drilling across a wide range of water depths around the world – creating a broad platform that we can build upon in the future,” Carl Trowell, Ensco Chief Executive, said. “This acquisition significantly enhances our high-specification floater and jackup fleets, adding technologically advanced drillships and semisubmersibles and refreshing our premium jackup fleet to best position ourselves for the market recovery. We believe that the purchase price for these assets represents a compelling value to our shareholders, which is augmented further by expected synergies from the transaction.”

Mr Trowell added, “By bringing together our high-specification rig fleets, technology and innovation, and talented rig crews, we plan to continue delivering high levels of operational and safety performance to an even larger group of clients. We will remain one of our industry’s best capitalized companies. Our combined financial strength, diverse customer base and larger scale should lead to greater strategic and competitive advantages as well as cost efficiencies, allowing for opportunistic investments through the market cycle.”

Atwood CEO Rob Saltiel stated, “The combination is an ideal strategic fit. Both companies are passionate about operational excellence, safety and customer satisfaction, with core values and cultures that are perfectly aligned. We believe the combined company will offer an unmatched rig fleet and workforce. These attributes, anchored by a strong balance sheet, should enable the company to thrive as market conditions improve and allow Atwood shareholders to fully participate in the market recovery.”

The acquisition will strengthen Ensco’s position with exposure to deep- and shallow-water markets that span six continents. Upon closing, Ensco will add six ultra-deepwater floaters and five high-specification jackups. The combined company will have a fleet of 63 rigs, comprised of ultra-deepwater drillships, deep- and mid-water semisubmersibles and shallow-water jackups.

Within the fleet of 26 floating rigs are 21 ultra-deepwater drilling rigs, capable of drilling in water depths of 7,500 ft or greater, with an average age of five years. The jackup fleet will be the largest in the world, composed of 37 rigs, including 27 premium units.

The combined company will have operations and drilling contracts spanning six continents in nearly every major deep- and shallow-water basin around the world. Regions will include major markets such as the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, West Africa, Middle East, North Sea, Mediterranean and Asia Pacific.

Ensco’s executive management will continue with Mr Trowell as President and CEO, Carey Lowe as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, and Jon Baksht as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Ensco’s Chairman will continue to be Paul Rowsey, and the Board of Directors will include Mr Trowell, plus two members from Atwood’s current board effective at closing.

Ensco will continue to be domiciled in the UK, and senior executive officers will be located in London and Houston.

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