ENSCO International Incorporated announced the signing of a definitive agreement
to sell all of the oilfield support vessels owned by the Company's subsidiary, ENSCO Marine Company, to Tidewater Inc. for $79 million in cash. The transaction, which is expected to result in a pre-tax gain of approximately $5 million to ENSCO, ($0.02 per diluted share after taxes), is subject to various regulatory consents. It is anticipated that the transaction will close early in the second quarter of 2003.
Carl F. Thorne, ENSCO's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, explained the strategic reasons for the transaction. "Although ENSCO Marine has performed well for us over the years, further renewal and growth of our boat fleet would require significant new investment. Given our focus on expanding the size and capability of our offshore rig fleet, we determined that this capital would best be deployed in that arena where we have a stronger presence and greater investment return opportunities."