Seadrill to acquire Aquadrill to create major offshore drilling company

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Seadrill, a Bermuda-incorporated offshore drilling contractor, will acquire offshore rig owner Aquadrill in an all-stock transaction valued at an implied equity value of around $958 million.

Post-closing, Seadrill stakeholders will own 62% and Aquadrill unitholders will hold 38% of the outstanding common shares in the combined entity.

Aquadrill is a UK-based limited liability company that owns eight offshore drilling units — four ultra-deepwater drillships, one ultra-deepwater harsh environment semi-submersible, and three tender assist drilling units.

The combined entity will remain named Seadrill and will continue to be domiciled in Hamilton, Bermuda.

The transaction is anticipated to form a major offshore driller with strong credit and liquidity profile as well as technologically advanced fleet that can be deployed across critical basins in the Golden Triangle.

Seadrill to acquire Aquadrill to create major offshore drilling company

Seadrill to acquire Aquadrill to create major offshore drilling company. Photo courtesy of Seadrill Limited.

The offshore drilling company with a combined backlog of $2.8 billion will have 12 floaters, including seven 7th generation drillships, three harsh environment rigs, four benign jack-ups, and three tender-assisted rigs.

In addition, the enlarged Seadrill will manage seven rigs under a variety of strategic collaborations.

Simon Johnson — Seadrill President and CEO said: “Seadrill and Aquadrill have a long and rich strategic and operational management history.

“Our shared heritage will promote efficient integration of the two companies. I look forward to welcoming the Aquadrill fleet back into the Seadrill family.”

As of 30 November 2022, Seadrill and Aquadrill had a combined cash balance of around $628 million, with restricted cash of about $133 million, and a combined debt balance of almost $521 million.

The company with a modern and high specification fleet and a streamlined cost structure is projected to generate synergies of no less than $70 million annually.

Steven Newman — Aquadrill CEO said: “We believe this combination will create the most value for our shareholders and will create an excellent platform for high quality service delivery to our customers.”

Aquadrill will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Seadrill upon the completion of the transaction.

The transaction is expected to close in mid-2023, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

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