November 6, 2007
Schlumberger makes offer for Eastern Echo
Oilfield services giant Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB) is offering to acquire all outstanding shares, convertibles and warrants in Eastern Echo Holding Plc, a Cyprus-registered company quoted on the Oslo Axess Market under the ticker symbol ECHO.
Eastern Echo, established in 2006, has a total of four high-performance 3D seismic vessels featuring the Ulstein X-bow under construction in Spain, with two more scheduled for construction in Dubai, and holds options for two further vessels.
The offer price is set at a minimum of NOK 11 and a maximum of NOK 12 per share, with the final price dependent on the acceptance level achieved under the offer. This offer values the equity of Eastern Echo on a fully diluted basis at approximately NOK 3,672 million (about US$681 million) based on NOK 12 per share.
Schlumberger says the offer price reflects the potential synergies the Eastern Echo vessels and management may offer when combined with Schlumberger seismic markets and technology. Schlumberger, through its WesternGeco business segment, possesses the operational and marine management capabilities that secure the required organizational resources to deploy and manage the vessels upon delivery.
Schlumberger already holds an irrevocable pre-acceptance from the largest Eastern Echo shareholder holding 14.4% of the issued Eastern Echo shares, and owns a further 24.6% of the shares together with 45.8% of the total Eastern Echo convertible bonds. In total Schlumberger controls approximately 39% of the Eastern Echo share capital, which corresponds to approximately 35.1% on a fully diluted basis.
Commenting on the offer, Andrew Gould, Schlumberger Chairman and CEO said: "The potential acquisition of Eastern Echo will further boost our plans to meet continuing substantial demand for market-leading WesternGeco Q-Marine* seismic technology services."