Seadrill enters agreement to sell its Qatar jack-up fleet and expands share repurchase program

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Seadrill Limited announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell three jack-up rigs—the West Castor, the West Telesto and the West Tucana—and its 50% equity interest in the joint venture that operates these rigs offshore Qatar to Seadrill’s joint venture partner Gulf Drilling International for cash proceeds of $338 million.

The Transaction is subject to certain conditions, including approval or non-objection of the Qatar Financial Centre Authority and approval of the shareholders of GDI’s parent company, and is expected to close early in the third quarter of 2024.

“Our divestiture of the Qatar Jack-Up Fleet and exit from the joint venture are consistent with our ongoing efforts to strengthen and simplify our business and will allow us to focus on Seadrill’s core business: operating deepwater rigs across the Golden Triangle and similarly advantaged geographies,” remarked Simon Johnson, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We believe that our strengthened liquidity position upon completion of the jack-up sale, coupled with our conviction in the deepwater floater market outlook and Seadrill’s competitive positioning within it, supports the expansion of our share repurchase program.”

Concurrent with the announcement of the Transaction, Seadrill announced its Board of Directors has increased the Company’s aggregate share repurchase authorization, allowing the Company to repurchase up to an additional $500 million of its outstanding common shares over a two-year period commencing after the current share repurchase program is completed.

Unlike the Company’s prior repurchase programs, the Company may choose not to initiate a non-discretionary repurchase program (e.g., under Rule 10b5-1 under the U.S. Securities Exchange Act) when the incremental authorization becomes effective. The incremental authorization may be modified, suspended or discontinued at any time. The Company is under no obligation to purchase any shares under the program. Shares may be repurchased at any time and from time to time under the program in open market purchases, privately negotiated purchases, block trades, tender offers, accelerated share repurchase transactions or other derivative transactions, through the purchase of call options or the sale of put options, or otherwise, or by any combination of the foregoing. The manner, timing, pricing and amount (if any) of any repurchases will be subject to the discretion of the Company and may be based upon a number of factors, including completion of the Transaction, market conditions, the Company’s financial position and capital requirements, financial conditions, competing uses for cash (as informed by the Company’s stated capital allocation principles), the restrictions in the Company’s credit agreements and other factors.