Seadrill to Spin-off Drilling Company (SDRL, CVX, TOT, BP, XOM, GLNG, GMLP, FRO)


Offshore drilling services firm Seadrill Ltd (NYSE: SDRL) is spinning off its offshore rig business to a new company to be called Seadrill Partners LLC. If a filing with the SEC, Seadrill Partners said it will seek $225 million in a public offering at a yet-to-be-determined date. The company did not say how many shares would be offered, but did say the firm would trade on the NYSE under the ticker symbol 'SDLP'.

Seadrill Partners said it is an "emerging growth company" that currently has long-term contracts with oil majors Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX), Total SA (NYSE: TOT), BP plc (NYSE: BP), and Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM). Seadrill is majority owned by the Fredriksen Group, which also owns majority interests in Golar LNG Ltd. (NASDAQ: GLNG), Golar LNG Partners LP (NASDAQ: GMLP), and Frontline Ltd. (NYSE: FRO).

Seadrill Ltd. will own 70% of the common units of Seadrill Partners following the IPO. The new company also plans "to make accretive acquisitions of drilling rigs from Seadrill and third parties" under an agreement that will give Seadrill Partners a first right to purchase additional interests in a jointly owned operating company and "a right to purchase any drilling rigs acquired or placed under contracts of five or more years after the closing date of this offering."

According to the filing, Seadrill Partners will use the proceeds from the filing "as consideration for the acquisition of our interest in [the jointly owned operating company] from Seadrill."

Citigroup is the sole underwriter of the offering.

The S-1 filing is available here.

Paul Ausick

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, IPOs, Oil & Gas Tagged: BP, CVX, FRO, GLNG, GMLP, SDRL, TOT, XOM