Sale of the ultra-deepwater drillship “West Polaris”
Ship Finance International Limited (NYSE:SFL) (“Ship Finance” or the “Company”), today announced that Seadrill Limited (“Seadrill”) has exercised a purchase option for an ultra-deepwater drilling unit. Ship Finance acquired the West Polaris in 2008 and it was chartered to a subsidiary of Seadrill on a long-term bareboat charter where Seadrill was granted certain purchase options, first time in 2012.
The purchase option price is $456 million and the transaction will be effected as a sale of the shares in the asset-owning subsidiary. Ship Finance will receive approximately $108 million in net cash proceeds from the sale, and we do not expect a material book impact from the transaction. The cash proceeds are expected to be reinvested in used assets, and the sale of West Polaris is not expected to impact the dividend capacity going forward.
Following this transaction, we will have two ultra-deepwater drilling rigs on charter to Seadrill, and next purchase options will be in November 2016 and February 2017 for the West Hercules and the West Taurus, respectively.
The Board of Directors
Hamilton, Bermuda Questions can be directed to Ship Finance Management AS:
Ole B. Hjertaker, Chief Executive Officer: +47 23114011
André Reppen, Senior Vice President: +47 23114055