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Transocean bids for Aker Drilling

Offshore rig contractor Transocean, registered in Zug, has launched a $1.43 billion (SFr1.14 billion) bid for Norway’s Aker Drilling.

The offer price of 26.50 Norwegian crowns (SFr3.87) per share represents a 98.5 per cent premium over Friday’s close of 13.35 crowns for the company, which was spun off from Aker Solutions earlier this year.

Aker Drilling operates two harsh-environment, ultra-deep-water semi-submersible rigs and is expected to take delivery in 2013 of two drill ships currently under construction. Its main owner Aker Capital on Sunday agreed to sell its 41 per cent stake in the company.

Last year, Transocean was implicated in the Deep-water Horizon oil spill, resulting from the explosion of one of its oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico which killed 11 people.

A draft report by the US Coast Guard criticised Transocean for a host of shortcomings – including a poor safety culture, which it says caused the disaster in April 2010.

Transocean argues that the explosion was not the result of poor maintenance, noting that the rig’s general alarm was working properly. and agencies

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