TTA: Partnership With Seadrill Will Increase Mermaid Maritime's Value

Back Jul 06, 2011

Bangkok, 6 July 2011 -- Mermaid Maritime Public Co. Ltd. ("Mermaid") and Seadrill Ltd. will become joint venture partners in Asia Offshore Drilling Ltd. ("AOD") to build and operate high-specification jack-up rigs.  The partnership with Seadrill provides AOD with a strong platform to develop its business further. With Seadrill as Mermaid's partner, AOD will benefit from their strong support in terms of lower operating costs through economies of scale from their much larger rig fleet and future bank financing.

AOD has successfully completed a private placement for USD 80 million, after which both Mermaid and Seadrill will be the largest shareholders in AOD with equal stakes of 33.75%.  The fund raising will be used to exercise two fixed-price options for the construction of MOD-V B Class high-specification jack-up rigs with Keppel FELS Ltd. in Singapore.

"This strategic partnership with a premier offshore drilling company like Seadrill is a very positive step for Mermaid and AOD and is widely considered to be a strong stamp of approval for our hard work, visionary thinking, and strategic planning. And of equal importance, the USD 80 million fund raising was successful during very challenging market conditions. It is important to note that within seven short months, AOD has raised USD 180 million from the equity markets. This demonstrates the market's confidence in the medium-term prospects of AOD," said M.L. Chandchutha Chandratat, the President and CEO of Thoresen Thai Agencies Plc, the parent of Mermaid.

Seadrill, as our new strategic partner, represents a major strengthening of AOD's business fundamentals, given their highly successful track record as an owner and operator of drilling rigs and as a shareholder friendly company. In 2010, Seadrill generated USD 4,040 million of revenues, USD 1,172 million of net profits, and currently operates 24 drilling rigs in Southeast Asia alone. It has total assets of USD 17,497 million.

Seadrill is a leading offshore drilling company listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Oslo Stock Exchange and has a market capitalisation of more than USD 16 billion, which is over Baht 480 billion or approximately 6% of SET market capitalisation.  Seadrill owns and operates a fleet of 60 drilling rigs of various types*, including semi-submersibles, drillships, jack-up rigs, semi-tender rigs, and tender-assisted rigs, for operations in shallow to ultra-deepwater areas around the world.

AOD was established late last year, when it secured two firm orders for high-specification jack-up rigs and options on another two rigs, the first of which has already been exercised.  AOD has already applied for listing on Oslo Axess, an authorized market operated by Oslo Børs ASA, and expects to be listed no later than 29 July 2011.

AOD will have a total of three jack-up rigs under construction with Keppel FELS, with deliveries scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2012, and the second and third quarters of 2013. AOD also has a second fixed-price option for a fourth jack-up rig, exercisable by 30 September 2011.  

In the private placement, AOD issued 20 million new shares at USD 4.00 each. Mermaid was allocated 3.7 million new shares for USD 14.8 million, while Seadrill was allocated 13.5 million shares for USD 54 million.   


Learn more information about Seadrill at http://www.seadrill.com/ 

For media inquiry, please contact:
Ravisada Angkeeros, Corporate Communications Department, Thoresen Thai Agencies Plc.
Tel: +668 1398 5098 or  +66 2254 8437 ext. 393  Email: ravisada_a@thoresen.com