Noble Corp and Pacific Drilling will enter into a definitive merger agreement under which Noble will acquire Pacific Drilling in an all-stock transaction. As part of the transaction, Pacific Driling’s equity holders will receive 16.6 million shares of Noble, or approximately 24.9% of the outstanding shares of Noble at closing. Noble will also move to dispose of the Pacific Bora and Pacific Mistral drillships.
The transaction expected to be completed in April 2021.
“The acquisition of Pacific Drilling will enhance our position in the ultra-deepwater market through the addition of its technologically advanced ultra-deepwater drillships, which are highly complementary to Noble’s existing fleet. By bringing these modern drillships into the Noble fleet, we will be able to better serve the needs of our customers globally and to participate in a wider range of drillship tender activity,” said Robert Eifler, Noble President and CEO.
Noble expects to realize annual pre-tax cost synergies of at least $30 million, with the full amount of cost synergies being realized by the end of 2021. Following the transaction, it will own and operate a high-specification fleet of 24 rigs, with 11 drillships, one semisubmersible and 12 jackups.
“Bringing together the Pacific Drilling and Noble fleets creates a stronger and more stable combined company with the scale to provide solutions for our clients on a global basis. This combination will advance the ongoing recovery in the industry and will allow Pacific Drilling equity holders to fully participate in that recovery,” said Bernie Wolford, Pacific Drilling CEO.
No changes to Noble’s Board of Directors or executive management team are anticipated as a result of the acquisition. Noble will continue to have its principal executive offices in Sugar Land, Texas.