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Russia's Rosneft to Acquire 30% of N.Y.-Listed Oil Driller

OSLO--New York-listed North Atlantic Drilling Ltd. said Friday that Russia's OAO Rosneft would acquire 30% of its shares in exchange for cash and 150 of Rosneft's onshore drilling rigs, following a cooperation deal struck before the imposition of sanctions against Russia by the U.S., Norway and the European Union. Rosneft will also be entitled to two board members in North Atlantic Drilling, or NADL, a company controlled by Seadrill Ltd., Bermuda-based driller. Seadrill Ltd. will retain approximately 50% of NADL shares. "We are very pleased with the execution of this important transaction and welcome Rosneft as an equity partner and to our board of directors," said Alf Ragnar Lovdal, chief executive of NADL. The announcement follows a $4.25 billion deal for the employment of six NADL drilling rigs through 2022, and a long-term cooperation deal entered between Rosneft and NADL in May. That deal included an option for Rosneft to acquire NADL shares. "Rosneft, Seadrill and NADL are creating a unique international partnership which will allow Rosneft to secure its drilling program," said Rosneft Chief Executive Igor Sechin. NADL is mainly active in Norway and the U.K., but the company's West Alpha rig is currently drilling Russia's northernmost well, Universitetskaya-1 in the Arctic Kara Sea, on behalf of Rosneft and Exxon Mobil. Both Seadrill and NADL are based in Bermuda and are controlled by billionaire John Fredriksen, a Norwegian who changed his citizenship to become a Cypriot. NADL was valued Friday at 13.8 billion Norwegian kroner ($2.25 billion) in Oslo's over-the-counter market. The company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in January 2014. The transaction is expected to close during the fourth quarter. Write to Kjetil Malkenes Hovland at kjetilmalkenes.hovland@wsj.com Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

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