The mystery-potential-partner will purchase a "substantial" minority stake in NADL from Seadrill at market prices, with an option to acquire a majority stake at a later stage for market value plus a premium. Seadrill intends to re-invest some of these proceeds in shares from the open market to reduce the impact on its ownership of NADL; the remainder will be spent in the ultra-deepwater and premium jack-up businesses.
Signing and closing of the transaction is expected within the third quarter of 2013.
The possible bedfellow supports Seadrill's plans to list NADL in the US after the first phase of the deal.
The partnership will likely see NADL expand geographically with regional offices in new regions to serve local markets, ongoing operations in Stavanger will continue as they are.