Transocean, the world's largest provider of offshore drilling services, announced today that it will acquire Norwegian rival Aker Drilling ASA for $1.46 billion, an offer that represents a 98% premium to where Aker's Oslo-listed shares closed last Friday. The deal has been unanimously approved by Aker's board.
The acquisition is the largest for Switzerland-based Transocean (RIG) since 2007 when the company acquired GlobalSantaFe. Transocean said the deal will allow the company to immediately bolster the quality of its rig fleet. The company is the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig, the rig at the epicenter of the largest oil spill in U.S. history.
Aker Drilling owns and operates two of the world's largest semi-submersible drilling units, the Aker Barents and the Aker Spitsbergen and the company also has two ultra-deepwater drillships being built by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. Ltd. in South Korea, according to Bloomberg News.
Transocean will assume $800 million in Aker debt as part of the deal. Two-thirds of Aker's shareholders have already said they will exchange their shares for shares of Transocean.