May 23, 2005
Fredriksen's SeaDrill completes private placement
John Fredriksen's foray into the offshore drilling market, SeaDrill Limited, has successfully completed a private placement of 15% of the shares in the company to the public market.
After completion of the offering, Fredriksen-controlled Greenwich Holdings remains the holder of approximately 85% of the shares through its subsidiary Hemen Holdings. No other shareholders control more than 5% of the capital.
In total 15 million shares were offered at US $2.03 per share. The subscription was very well received and approximately 130 million shares were subscribed for by 540 subscribers. The company has after completion of the offering approximately 275 shareholders. The private placement was managed by Pareto Securities ASA.
As from June 30, 2005 Sea Drill will control 7 offshore units. This includes 3 jack-up units, two FPSO's and two newbuild jack-up presently under construction in Singapore.
SeaDrill says its strategy is to build up a strong independent drilling contractor with a major focus on modern units. The growth will come from a combination of newbuildings, acquisition of units and consolidation with other companies. The Board says it "sees a lot of opportunities within this field."
SeaDrill says it will "focus on bringing a good reliable service to its customers, building a strong brand and to maximize cash flow to its owners." As a function of cyclicality of the business the Company will seek to secure part of its cash flow through long term charter agreements. The shares will initially be listed on the OTC market in Oslo and it is the intention, at a later date, to seek listing on the Oslo Stock Exchange.
The Board says it "feels confident of the development in the offshore market in general and specifically the outlook for the company. The positive response received through the public offering is encouraging in our effort to build a major new independent drilling contractor."