UK regulators ready to approve Maersk Drilling – Noble Merger
Regulators in the UK today indicated they would be willing to consider and likely agree to the merger of Maersk Drilling and Noble Corporation if the companies proceed with proposed solutions to their concerns, including the sale of several auto rigs -elevators. Businesses will need to submit a formalized sales agreement before they can receive approval.
Last month, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority expressed concerns that competition could be reduced if Maersk Drill’s proposed merger with Noble proceeds. The companies agreed to a merger of equals in November 2021, saying it would help them respond to changing market conditions in the offshore drilling industry. The transaction, which was valued at $3.4 billion, they said would provide the scale, capabilities and resources needed to meet market challenges.
The AMC confirmed its concerns about the merger on April 22, saying it believed it could lead to reduced competition and increased operating costs for oil and gas producers. They mainly focused on the overlapping activities of the two companies in the supply of jack-up rigs commonly used for offshore drilling by UK customers in the North Sea. Maersk Drilling and Noble had previously warned they believed UK regulators were likely to require the sale of assets in order to approve the deal and were preparing responses.
“The CMA considers that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the undertakings offered by Noble Corporation and Maersk Drilling, or a modified version thereof, could be accepted by the CMA under the Enterprise Act 2002,” said said the CMA in a brief published statement. today, May 9. However, to receive approval, companies must submit an agreed sales agreement to regulators for approval.
The companies said the proposed remedy they are pursuing includes divestiture of the platforms Noble Hans Deul, Noble Sam HartleyNoble Sam Turner, Noble Houston Colbertand Noble Lloyd Noble, including all related support and infrastructure that the buyer will need to operate the platforms as an efficient stand-alone business. They said relevant offshore and onshore staff should be transferred as part of an agreement.
Once an agreement has been reached with a potential buyer, the CMA will review the proposal, including determining whether it is a suitable buyer and whether it addresses concerns about maintaining competition in online transactions. North Sea.
Maersk Drilling and Noble said they were unsure of a timeline for next steps, but continued to expect to complete their transaction in mid-2022.