Seadrill “hopeful” about shares in rigs

Published Feb 23, 2009
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Pride secure contract for semisubmersible Rig Sea Explorer

Rig-owning giant Seadrill said Monday that its fourth quarter result will include charges of no less than $775 million for falling share and currency values since taking up stakes in other rig companies.

The company will scrub $615 million for the fall in share price in three companies it has stakes in: Stock in Scorpion Offshore Ltd., Pride International Inc. and Sapura Crest. Shares in the companies ahd been doing well but were “signficantly lower” than when Seadrill bought in.

The negative charge was less than the 687 million “loss” reported in third quarter for the stock in those companies.

Seadrill also said the “swapping” of interest to secure “favourable” long-term rates produced a $160 million charge for the lower “market-to-market” dollar interest rates at year-end 2008.

Seadrill has grown exponentially by acquiring shares in other companies — Smedvig, Mosvold., Odfjell and Eastern Drilling — and profited from owning then selling stakes in Ocean Rig, PT Apexindo Pratma Duta and Aker Drilling.

In a statement, company chief exec Alf Thorkildsen said the investments in Pride, SapuraCrest and Scorpion were long-term stakes in companies with strong cash-flow and assets aimed at growth.

“All three companies trade today at a large discount to the real value of the underlying assets,” Thorkildsen said.

He said the Seadrill board was “hopeful” it would recover the losses and one day invest again in Scorpion, Pride and Sapura Crest.

Tags: Pride International, Scorpion Offshore, Seadrill


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