The acquisition of Ocean Rig is projected to enhance the Swiss-based drilling rig contractor’s fleet of ultradeepwater and harsh environment floaters without compromising its liquidity or overall balance sheet flexibility, Transocean CEO Jeremy Thigpen said in a statement when the deal was first announced in September.
“The combination of constructive and stable oil prices over the last several quarters, streamlined offshore project costs, and undeniable reserve replacement challenges has driven a material increase in offshore contracting activity,” Thigpen said. “As such, adding Ocean Rig’s premium assets to our industry-leading fleet provides us with an increased number of the modern and highly efficient ultradeepwater drillships preferred by our customers, and better positions us to capitalize on what, we believe, is an imminent recovery in the ultradeepwater market.”
Analysts praised the deal in September saying the acquisition was necessary consolidation and furthers Transocean’s role as the market leader for consolidation in the offshore drilling industry, said Liz Tysall, a senior analyst for oilfield service research with Rystad Energy.
“In contrast to Transocean’s recent acquisition of Songa Offshore, which included 24 years of backlog, this acquisition positions Transocean for a market upturn in the ultradeepwater drillship segment, particularly in two key areas of the Golden Triangle,” Tysall said in a statement in September. “Ocean Rig operates in three of Transocean’s key markets: Brazil, West Africa and the North Sea. The newly combined fleet will have just under one year of contracted backlog in Brazil, just over four years of contracted backlog in West Africa and just over 27 years of contracted backlog in the North Sea going forward.”
Following the closing of its acquisition of Ocean Rig, Transocean will now have a combined fleet of 57 floaters, 17 of the top 50 and 31 of the top 100 deepwater drillships in the industry. The deal also enhances Transocean's exposure and ability to capitalize on the ultradeepwater market recovery.
As part of its agreement, Transocean said in September it would pay 1.6128 newly issued shares and $12.75 in cash for each share of Ocean Rig’s common stock. The payment had a total implied value of $32.28 per Ocean Rig share, which represented a premium of 19.2% to the stock’s close Aug. 31.
It was estimated that upon completion Transocean shareholders would own about 79% of the combined company, while Ocean Rig shareholders will hold the remaining 21%.
Citi was Transocean’s financial adviser for the transaction, while Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC advised Ocean Rig.
Overall, 2018 was the Year of Consolidation as several E&Ps agreed to merge throughout the U.S., including inside and outside the prolific Permian Basin.
Activist investor Elliott Management offered to buy oil and gas producer QEP Resources in an all-cash deal valued at $2.07 billion, saying that the company is "deeply undervalued."
Expect plenty of capital, plenty of volatility, plenty of shifts in investor strategies—and plenty of unfolding stories to track as the new year progresses.