As per the terms, Pacific Drilling’s shareholders will get a stake of nearly 24.9% in Noble Offshore drilling contractors Noble and Pacific Drilling announce all-stock merger. (Credit: wasi1370 from Pixabay) UK-based Noble has agreed to acquire rival offshore drilling contractor Pacific Drilling, based in Luxembourg, in an all-stock deal.As per the terms of the deal, Pacific Drilling’s shareholders will get 16.6 million shares of Noble, which translates to a stake of around 24.9% in the latter at closing.Post-acquisition, Noble will have a fleet of 24 rigs, which include 11 drillships, one semisubmersible, and 12 jackups. The company will also have pro forma backlog of around $1.7bn, which will be divided across a range of customers and regions of operation.The company claimed that the combined fleet will be among the youngest and most technologically advanced fleets in the sector.Pacific Drilling CEO Bernie Wolford said: “Bringing together the Pacific Drilling and Noble fleets creates a stronger and more stable combined company with the scale to provide solutions for our clients on a global basis.“This combination will advance the ongoing recovery in the industry and will allow Pacific Drilling equity holders to fully participate in that recovery.”Noble anticipates the deal to help the company achieve at least $30m annual pre-tax cost synergies.Apart from that, the offshore drilling contractor will look to expeditiously dispose of the Pacific Bora and Pacific Mistral drillships, which are among the seven drillships owned currently by Pacific Drilling.Noble president and CEO Robert Eifler said: “The acquisition of Pacific Drilling will enhance our position in the ultra-deepwater market through the addition of its technologically-advanced ultra-deepwater drillships, which are highly complementary to Noble’s existing fleet.“By bringing these modern drillships into the Noble fleet, we will be able to better serve the needs of our customers globally and to participate in a wider range of drillship tender activity.”Eifler added that the acquisition enables the re-entry of Noble into the West African and Mexican regions, besides bolstering its footprint in the US Gulf of Mexico.Subject to customary closing conditions, the deal is anticipated to be closed next month.
Tesco has posted a record £6.4bn annual pre-tax loss for the year to the end of February.This compares to a pre-tax loss of £2.26bn last year, and is the biggest loss suffered by a UK retailer in history.Around £4.7bn of the losses were due to the fall in property value of its UK stores, 43 of which it said would close earlier this month. A further £416m was down to restructuring costs.Like-for-like sales in the UK, not including fuel, were also down 3.6%.Dave Lewis, chief executive of the food giant, was not in denial about the torrid time the supermarket had been having, and said: “It has been a very difficult year for Tesco.”The retailer is still under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) after it overstated its half-year profit forecast in August by £263m.Lewis continued: “The results we have published today reflect a deterioration in the market and, more significantly, an erosion of our competitiveness over recent years. We have faced into this reality, sought to draw a line under the past and begun to rebuild, and already we are beginning to see early encouraging signs from what we’ve done so far.”Bakery linesIn order to take on the challenging market place, Tesco has outlined plans to improve pricing on branded products, and said further price cuts on “essential products” such as bread had taken effect last month.As the supermarket price war escalates, the retailer has also dropped Kingsmill bread from its shelves as it follows a more volume driven strategy.In the preliminary results, it said it would be carrying out a review of product ranges over an 18-month period – with one source outside the company suggesting there could be more bakery delistings.Lewis said: “By focusing on the fundamentals of availability, service and targeted price reductions, we have seen a steady increase in footfall, transactions and, most significantly, volumes. More customers are buying more things at Tesco.” OutlookThe retailer said it did not expect the challenging market to change in the near future and would continue to focus on three main priorities- regaining competitiveness in its UK business; protecting and strengthening the balance sheet; and rebuilding trust and transparency in the business and the brand.It said: “The immediate priority for these and any other savings delivered is reinvestment in the customer offer in order to further restore UK competitiveness.”
Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s will mark the 32nd anniversary of the assassination of Oscar Romero this week with Romero Days, a series of lectures and events honoring the Salvadorian archbishop’s advocacy for the poor. Fr. Bob Pelton of the Kellogg Institute for International Studies said he hopes Romero Days will inspire students to carry on Romero’s legacy. “I would hope that [Romero’s] example would help others to follow the example with their own attitudes, through the types of service they do and through relating their studies to a larger, stronger social commitment,” Pelton said. As Archbishop of San Salvador, Romero stood up for the poor and marginalized in his home country of El Salvador and was assassinated while saying Mass in 1980, Pelton said. He was also nominated for sainthood. “Archbishop Romero was extraordinarily devoted to the peasants of his country,” Pelton said. “He gave his life out of love for them and for our Lord.” Pelton said Romero Days begins today at 4:15 p.m. in the Hesburgh Center for International Studies with a workshop on teaching students about Romero’s social justice. The event will feature professor of theology Margaret Pfeil and educational specialist Michael Amodei. The workshop will precede a 7 p.m. screening of the film “MonseÃ±or: The Last Journey of Ãscar Romero,” a documentary which Pelton said follows the last three years of Romero’s life. Pelton said the Kellogg Institute chose to sponsor the workshop because it is important for educators to pass on Romero’s legacy to the next generation. “We want to understand better the social teaching that was embodied both in the instructions and in the life of the example of Romero himself,” he said. Kevin Dowling, bishop of Rustenburg, South Africa, will preside over a commemorative Mass on Wednesday in the Church of Loretto at Saint Mary’s at 4 p.m. Dowling will lecture on Romero’s life in Carroll Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Pelton said Bishop Dowling is a strong supporter of Romero’s teachings on social justice and Church teaching, proving Romero’s influence is ubiquitous. “The example of Archbishop Romero has spread throughout the world,” Pelton said. “Here we have all the way in South Africa a bishop who follows that example in his service to the very poor.” Dowling’s lecture commemorates not only the 32nd anniversary of Romero’s death, but also a longstanding tradition of social justice, Pelton said. “The annual Romero Address [will honor] 40 years of justice education on the part of the Catholic Church and also the 30 years of the Justice Education Center at St. Mary’s College,” he said. Pelton said students should emulate Romero’s drive and fortitude to advance causes of social justice. “It’s important for us to be willing to see the real needs of our sisters and brothers and to take the effective steps to bring about an improvement of that situation,” he said.