Aker sells Aker Drilling

Aker ASA’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Aker Capital, has sold 14 959 742 Aker Drilling shares, corresponding to a five-percent ownership interest in the drilling company to Transocean Offshore Holdings Limited.

The NOK 26.50 per-share sales price is 98.5 percent above the NOK 13.35 closing price of Aker Drilling stock on Friday, 12 August 2011.

Transocean, the world’s largest offshore drilling company, has announced that it will make a voluntary offer to purchase all outstanding Aker Drilling shares at a per-share price of NOK 26.50. The offer is contingent upon Transocean acquiring a total ownership interest that exceeds two-thirds of Aker Drilling shares. Aker Capital has given its acceptance in advance to sell to Transocean its remaining Aker Drilling shareholding of approximately 36.1 percent or 107 873 858 shares.

Aker’s understanding is that the voluntary offer will be presented as soon as it has been approved by the Oslo Stock Exchange.

The NOK 26.50 per-share price corresponds to NOK 3 255 million for Aker’s total ownership interest in Aker Drilling. Provided Transocean attains the required acceptances of its voluntary tender to Aker Drilling shareholders, the transaction will generate a NOK 1 191 million accounting gain for Aker ASA and holding companies in the third quarter of 2011 and a gain for the year 2011 of NOK 921 million

“The offer from the world’s foremost drilling contractor represents major recognition of Aker Drilling’s organization, rigs, and potential. Transocean and Aker Drilling will make each other better,” says Aker’s President and CEO Øyvind Eriksen.