NADL and Seadrill announced a preliminary agreement to create a strategic partnership with a strong industrial player was reached to foster growth of the company's harsh environment business. The potential strategic partner has a strong foothold in the Russian market, vast experience and competence in Arctic operations, including unique expertise in ice management. The partnership brings together organizations with complimentary skillsets well positioned to capture growth, building on their respective experience and know-how and creating new industrial synergies.
The potential strategic partner will initially purchase a substantial minority stake in NADL from Seadrill priced around current market levels. Further the partner will be granted an option to acquire a majority stake at a later stage at a premium to the current market levels. Signing and closing of the transaction is expected within the third quarter of 2013. Both Seadrill and the potential strategic partner strongly support an immediate US-listing of NADL post closing of the first part of the transaction.
The company's operations in Stavanger will continue as today and will focus on the current operations and future growth. The strategic partnership is likely to entail opening up of other regional offices to serve local growth in demand. Overall activity level is expected to increase and provide employees with attractive opportunities.
Seadrill is fully committed to remaining a long term shareholder and partner in NADL. The board is confident that the agreed partnership structure will strengthen NADL as the leading pure play harsh environment drilling company and position it uniquely to increase the value for all of the company's shareholders and make it an even more attractive workplace for the employees.
It is Seadrill's intention that parts of the proceeds it will receive from the first phase of the transaction will be used to purchase shares in the open market in order to re-increase its ownership in NADL. The remaining proceeds will be used to fund existing and new growth opportunities within Seadrill's global ultra-deepwater and premium jack-up businesses and might also be used to support Seadrill's share of further growth in NADL.
Seadrill has since January 1, 2013 committed approximately US $5 billion in acquisitions and new build orders. Based on these investments Seadrill expects high growth in earnings and dividend capacity in the years to come. The boards of Seadrill and NADL will continue to look for further strategic opportunities with a target to better position our companies for future business.