Noble Corp. Deal To Buy Diamond Offshore Boosts Fleet With Four 7th-Generation Drillships

The two Houston area-based companies have struck an agreement valued at almost $1.6 billion.

Inside the drillers cabin on a deepwater rig.
Source: Noble Corp.

Noble Corp. announced on Monday that it will acquire Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. in a stock-and-cash transaction valued at nearly $1.6 billion.

The agreement between the two Houston-based drilling contractors comes at a time of tight supply for high-specification deepwater rigs and includes approximately $600 million in cash, based on recent share prices.

Noble will inherit a backlog of $2.1 billion from Diamond Offshore, bringing the combined value of future projects to $6.5 billion.

The acquisition will add four 7th-generation drillships to Noble's fleet, increasing the total to 15 such high-spec vessels, all but one of which are currently operational. Noble highlighted that the four 7th-generation drillships have contracts of approximately 2 years at $460,000 per day.

Noble will also gain a harsh-environment semisubmersible rig and five other offshore rigs with varying depth ranges that have averaged above 85% utilization over the past 3 years. In total, Noble will own and operate a fleet of 41 rigs, including 28 floaters and 13 jackups.

This marks Noble's first major acquisition since its merger with Maersk Drilling in 2021.

Noble is projecting an annual cost savings of $100 million with 75% of that to be captured within the first year of closing.

As part of the deal, Diamond Offshore shareholders will receive about 0.23 shares of Noble stock and a cash payout of $5.65 per share of Diamond Offshore, representing a more than 11% premium over the preannouncement closing price. Upon closing, Diamond Offshore shareholders will own approximately 14.5% of Noble.

Noble expects the deal to close by the first quarter of 2025, at which time one member from Diamond’s current board will be added to its board.