Slaughter and May is advising Seadrill Limited on its restructuring plan to be implemented with prearranged chapter 11 cases

13 Sep 2017

Slaughter and May is advising Seadrill Limited (“Seadrill”) on its restructuring plan to be implemented with prearranged chapter 11 cases.

Seadrill is one of the one of the world’s largest offshore drilling contractors and serves customers around the globe.

On 12 September 2017, Seadrill entered into a restructuring agreement with more than 97 per cent. of its secured bank lenders, approximately 40 per cent. of its bondholders and a consortium of investors led by its largest shareholder, Hemen Holding Ltd.  The agreed plan comprehensively addresses Seadrill’s liabilities, including funded debt and other obligations.  It was developed over the course of more than a year of detailed discussions, and the plan will ensure that Seadrill can continue to operate its large, modern fleet of drilling units.  The agreement delivers $1.06 billion of new capital comprised of $860 million of secured notes and $200 million of equity.   Seadrill’s secured lending banks have also agreed to certain amendments, including maturity deferrals, of Seadrill’s secured credit facilities totalling $5.7 billion of outstanding debt.  The terms of the restructuring plan were announced on 13 September 2017 and to implement the restructuring agreement, Seadrill filed prearranged chapter 11 cases in the Southern District of Texas together with the agreed restructuring plan. 

As part of the restructuring process, Slaughter and May also advised Seadrill on the successful ring-fencing of its non-consolidated affiliates from its restructuring, including Seadrill Partners LLC, SeaMex Ltd., Archer Limited and their respective subsidiaries. 

Slaughter and May, as corporate counsel, is working as part of an integrated team with the Seadrill in-house legal team and Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS are advising on Norwegian law aspects and Conyers Dill & Pearman Limited are advising on Bermuda law aspects.

Houlihan Lokey are acting as financial advisers to Seadrill in connection with the restructuring and Alvarez & Marsal are acting as restructuring advisor.  Morgan Stanley served as co-financial advisor to Seadrill during the negotiation of the restructuring agreement.

The Slaughter and May team is led by financing partner Philip Snell and restructuring partner Ian Johnson, together with financing partner Robert Byk and corporate partner Richard de Carle.  They are supported by associates Samay Shah, Robert Withycombe-Taperell, David Coates, Marcus Wettenhall, Belinda Chan, Lucie Van Gils, Sean McGuinness, Ben Isherwood, Krishna Omkar, Francesca Harris and Ruairi O’Donovan.  Tax advice is being provided by tax partner Mike Lane with support from associate Edward Milliner and competition advice is being provided by competition partner Claire Jeffs with support from associate Elena Krishnan.

Contacts

Financing: Philip Snell (partner), Robert Byk (partner), Samay Shah (associate), Robert Withycombe-Taperell (associate), David Coates (associate), Marcus Wettenhall (associate), Belinda Chan (associate), Lucie Van Gils (associate), Sean McGuinness (associate), Ben Isherwood (associate); Restructuring: Ian Johnson (partner); Corporate: Richard de Carle (partner), Krishna Omkar (associate), Francesca Harris (associate), Ruairi O’Donovan (associate); Tax: Mike Lane (partner), Edward Milliner (associate); Competition: Claire Jeffs (partner), Elena Krishnan (associate).


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