Seadrill emerges from bankruptcy

  • David Cooke of CD&P
  • John Fredriksen: billionaire chairman of Seadrill

Seadrill Ltd, one of the world’s largest offshore drilling companies, has emerged from chapter 11 bankruptcy after completing its plan of reorganisation.

Conyers Dill and Pearman has been advising the Bermudian-registered company on the plan and related judicial proceedings on the island since February 2016.

The law firm said Conyers’ directors David Cooke and Niel Jones advised on the corporate aspects of the restructuring, along with associates Jennifer Panchaud, Sarah Lusher, David Stubbs and William Cooper. Robin Mayor and Christian Luthi, directors in Conyers’ litigation and restructuring department, advised on the Bermuda judicial proceedings. Conyers said its BVI and Cayman offices were also engaged.

“The successful emergence from chapter 11 was a good outcome for all stakeholders,” Mr Cooke said. “This was an extremely complicated and multifaceted restructuring, and I think it is a testament to the sophistication of Bermuda as a jurisdiction and the hard work of all those involved that we were able to get this across the line.”

John Fredriksen, the Norwegian-born billionaire who is chairman of Seadrill, said: “We are pleased to be emerging from chapter 11 and moving forward with a solid financial foundation on which we will continue to grow and strengthen our business.”

Through his investment companies, Mr Fredriksen also owns stakes in some other Bermudian-registered companies, including oil tanker giant Frontline, dry-bulk shipper Golden Ocean Group and liquefied natural gas shipper Golar LNG.

The Seadrill plan equitised some $2.4 billion in unsecured bond obligations, more than $1 billion in contingent new-build obligations, substantial unliquidated guaranty obligations, and approximately $250 million in unsecured interest rate and currency swap claims, while extending near-term debt maturities.

This provided Seadrill with more than $1 billion in fresh capital, leaving employee, customer, and ordinary trade claims largely unimpaired.

With re-profiled debt and substantial liquidity, the company has announced that it is in a strong position to execute its business plan.

The figures below highlight key financial metrics as of the effective date of emergence:

• Total cash of about $2.1 billion.

• Secured bank debt of about $5.7 billion with the first maturity in 2022.

• New secured notes of $880 million maturing in 2025.

• 100 million common shares to be allocated in accordance with the Plan.

Seadrill’s new common shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the same NYSE ticker symbol, “SDRL”, as the old ones.