Norwegian drilling startup Borr Drilling plans to list on the Oslo exchange this quarter and is considering buying more assets to position itself for a market upturn, CFO Rune Magnus Lundetrae said on Aug. 4.
The world’s biggest oilfield service provider Schlumberger took a 20% stake via a private placement in the company managed by former Seadrill executives in March.
“It’s not about raising the capital. We will register the existing shares,” Lundetrae told Reuters.
It plans to list 315 million shares, which on Aug. 4 were valued at around 9.2 billion Norwegian crowns ($1.16 billion), he said.
The company lined up Norway’s biggest commercial bank DNB to advise on the listing. It was listed on the Norwegian over-the-counter market in December.
“We need to be listed on a reputable exchange as this is required by the existing investors, and to attract new ones,” he added.
The company was also looking to buy more assets after acquiring two jackup rigs from U.S. Hercules Offshore for $130 million and 15 jackup rigs, including five new rigs under construction, from Swiss-based Transocean for $1.35 billion.
Jackup rigs, drilling platforms with movable legs, are used for drilling in shallow waters and the main market is the Middle East.
“We believe that the jackup market will be the first [drilling] segment to recover when the activity picks up,” Lundetrae said.
He said the market “has seen the bottom,” but the recovery would be gradual.
Meanwhile, the company is actively looking to buy more assets or to do merger and acquisition deals, Lundetrae said.
He declined to say whether the company would consider buying assets from his former employer, Seadrill, which has warned investors that it could go into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Seadrill, once the biggest offshore rig firm by market value and the crown jewel in the business empire of Norwegian billionaire John Fredriksen, is seeking to restructure its $14 billion debt.
Borr Drilling’s board includes Tor Olav Troeim, Seadrill’s former director and a former right-hand man of Fredriksen. The two parted ways several years ago.
Lundetrae served as Seadrill’s CFO from 2012 to 2015, and until recently was Borr Drilling’s chief executive.
Simon Johnson from Nobel Drilling, and also a former Seadrill’s employee, replaced him from Aug. 1 in the top position, and will run the business from the office in Dubai.
Lundetrae said Dubai was a convenient location to reach other parts in the world, including West Africa, where the company won its first contract with French Total in July.