Offshore Driller Noble Says Reorganization Plan Gets Court Approval


November 23, 2020
Noble Sam Croft drillship - Image by Robby Norman - MarineTraffic

Noble Sam Croft drillship - Image by Robby Norman - MarineTraffic

Offshore drilling contractor Noble, which filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in August, said Monday that its restructuring plan had received court approval. 

The offshore drilling company changed its name earlier this month from Noble Corp. to Noble Holding Corporation, so it can use its old Noble Corp. name once it emerges from bankruptcy protection, which is expected to happen either late in 2020, or early next year.

In a statement on Monday, Noble Holding Corporation said its debt restructuring plan received widespread support from creditors.

Under the terms of the plan, all of the company's bond debt, which is currently over $3.4 billion, will be converted into equity of the reorganized company.  Noble has also entered into a backstop support agreement with the company's major bondholders to invest $200 million of new capital in the form of new second-lien notes. In addition, the company has received signed commitments from existing bank lenders to provide a $675 million secured revolving credit facility.

"Noble Holding Corporation plc [...] announced today that the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas has issued an order approving the Company's Joint Plan of Reorganization (the "Plan").  The Company is working towards emergence as soon as possible upon receipt of certain regulatory approvals which could be received late this year or early 2021," Noble Corp. said.

Robert W. Eifler, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company, stated, "We are pleased to have reached this critical milestone and are eager to continue executing on our strategy.  I would like to thank our creditors, customers, vendors, advisors and employees, whose support throughout this process has been critical to reaching a consensual and efficient restructuring while maintaining our industry-leading operations.  We look forward to emerging with a significantly improved balance sheet and remain committed to delivering the operational excellence that our customers have come to expect from Noble."

Noble owns a fleet of 19 offshore drilling units, consisting of 7 drillships and semisubmersibles and 12 jack-ups.

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