U.K.'s CMA Invites Comments On Noble-Maersk Drilling Merger

The Competition and Markets Authority in the UK said it has opened a consultation on undertakings proposed by Noble Corp. (NE) and the Drilling Company of 1972 A/S, known as Maersk Drilling, to address competition concerns over the anticipated merger between the companies.

The CMA said in April 2022 that it would refer the acquisition for an in-depth investigation unless Noble and Maersk Drilling offered acceptable undertakings to address the CMA's concerns.

Therefore, Noble and Maersk Drilling offered to undertakings to divest Noble's full fleet of jack-up rigs located in NW Europe along with the Noble Lloyd Noble. The divestment also includes, inter alia, management and all offshore crew for each of the rigs and Noble's leased office space and storage yard space.

The CMA said in May 2022 that it would look in detail at the undertakings. The CMA has until 1 September 2022 to consider whether to accept the undertakings, or a modified version of them.

The CMA said Friday that, before reaching a final decision, it is inviting interested parties to make their views known. The deadline for responses is 5 August 2022.

In November 2021, Noble Corp. and Maersk Drilling agreed to combine in a primarily all-stock transaction. Both companies' shareholders would each own about 50 percent of the outstanding shares of the combined company.

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