Noble Closes Acquisition of Frontier Drilling

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Noble Corporation (NYSE:NE) announced that it has closed its acquisition of FDR Holdings Limited (Frontier). The acquisition of Frontier, formerly an independent drilling company, and previously announced agreements with Shell increase Noble's drilling fleet size to 69 from 62 units, with the addition of three dynamically positioned drillships (including two Bully-class joint venture-owned ultra-deepwater rigs under construction), two conventionally moored drillships, including one which is Arctic-class, and a conventionally moored deepwater semisubmersible drilling rig. Additionally, as a result of this acquisition, Noble will own and operate a dynamically positioned floating production, storage, offloading vessel (FPSO).

The closing comes one month after Noble's June 28, 2010 announcement that it had entered into an agreement to acquire Frontier in a transaction that values the enterprise at $2.16b. The transaction was financed with proceeds from the company's $1.25b bond offering on July 21, 2010 and cash on hand. The company did not utilize a bridge financing facility that had been previously arranged.

"With the addition of Frontier's units and personnel to the Noble fleet and in conjunction with our separate agreements with Shell, we have strengthened our capabilities and broadened our global footprint, doubled our backlog, and positioned the company to deliver even greater value both to our shareholders and our customers," said David W. Williams, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Noble. "We are implementing a plan designed to rapidly integrate these units and their personnel into the Noble framework, with particular focus on our strong safety culture, something we see as a fundamental element of our success on every rig we operate."
 

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