Noble Corp. Shareholders Approve Merger with Maersk Drilling

Shareholders of offshore drilling company Noble Corporation have approved the company’s proposed plan to merge with the Danish offshore drilling firm Maersk Drilling.

“…at the Extraordinary General Meeting of shareholders held today, shareholders approved all proposals related to the previously announced business combination agreement with [Maersk Drilling],” Noble Corp. said Tuesday.

According to Noble Corp, approximately 99% of the votes cast at the meeting were in favor of the merger.

The completion of the transaction remains subject to acceptance of an exchange offer by holders of at least 80% of Maersk Drilling shares, merger clearance, and other regulatory approvals, listing on the NYSE and Nasdaq Copenhagen, and other customary conditions.

The competition authorities in Brazil, Norway, and Trinidad & Tobago have unconditionally approved the transaction.

The two companies are working to resolve competition concerns in the UK, where the UK Competition and Markets Authority has found that the merger could increase operating costs for oil and gas producers in the UK North Sea, and that the deal raised competition concerns in the supply of jack-up rigs for offshore drilling in northwest Europe – the area comprising the UK, Denmark, and the Netherlands.

Worth noting, the UK Competition and Markets Authority said Monday it might accept the two companies’ proposed solution – a sale of several jack-up rigs – to alleviate competition concerns.

Noble Drilling and Maersk Drilling have proposed selling the rigs Noble Hans Deul, Noble Sam Hartley, Noble Sam Turner, Noble Houston Colbert, and Noble Lloyd Noble, including all related support and infrastructure that the buyer will need to run the remedy rigs as an effective standalone business. Relevant offshore and onshore staff are expected to transfer with the remedy rigs.

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