Famatown Finance Limited (“Famatown”), a company indirectly controlled by trusts settled by Mr. John Fredriksen1 and a member of the Seatankers Group, today announced that it has accumulated through open market transactions approximately 5.0% of the common shares of Valaris Limited (NYSE: VAL) (“Valaris”) and has executed a support agreement with Valaris reflecting the Seatankers Group’s support of and commitment to the Company.
The Seatankers Group holds significant interests within industries such as shipping and energy, oil services and diversified industrials. These investments include, among others, a strategic ownership position in 14 publicly listed companies, of which five are U.S. listed with a combined enterprise value of approximately $45 billion. Supported by the Seatankers Group’s active involvement as a major shareholder, these companies have over the last ten years executed private and public transactions with a combined value of approximately $75 billion and created significant shareholder value.
The Seatankers Group’s investment philosophy is comprised of core tenets that include: (i) targeting industry leaders in their respective spaces, (ii) identifying advantageous timing for potential investments, (iii) executing such investments with a focus on shareholder returns, and (iv) providing long-term shareholder support, as applicable.
Following several years of headwinds, the Seatankers Group believes the offshore drilling industry is in the early stages of an exciting recovery, driven by industry consolidation and a growing recognition of a need for sustained drilling activity to facilitate an orderly energy transition over time. This inflexion point, which is seeing utilization and dayrates rapidly recovering, coincides with low asset values across the offshore drilling sector.
The Seatankers Group also believes continued industry consolidation is critical and that Valaris will be an industry leader in the years to come, and that it represents by far the most compelling value proposition for investors in what is an increasingly attractive industry.
- Valaris is well placed to be an industry consolidator given its best-in-class balance sheet and its market-leading fleet of high-quality assets;
- Valaris has traded at a discount on implied rig values relative to its major peers since emergence, as highlighted in its own October 2021 investor presentation. The Seatankers Group is supportive of the progress that has been made in closing this gap and believes that significant upside still remains in this regard;
- Additionally, the current enterprise value of Valaris is a fraction of the enterprise value pre-pandemic levels and could represent further material upside should an accelerated market recovery occur;
- Valaris has been highly successful lately in securing additional backlog, which is accretive compared to its current valuation. Further, Valaris’ remaining idle drilling units are well positioned to win accretive contracts in the near term;
- The Seatankers Group believes the market substantially underestimates the strategic and financial value of Valaris’ ARO joint venture with Saudi Aramco; and
- Finally, in its assessment of Valaris, the Seatankers Group has recognized the significant earnings potential of the Valaris fleet. With continued best in class execution and a general market recovery, the Seatankers Group believes Valaris could be in a position to generate annual EBITDA in excess of $1.0 billion in the future.
With decades of experience and a network in the offshore drilling industry, the Seatankers Group is confident it can be helpful in accelerating Valaris along the attractive trajectory it is already on. The Seatankers Group has confidence in the Valaris management team and board of Directors and is very excited about the prospects of increased involvement through potential Board representation should Famatown acquire additional shares in an amount the Valaris Board deems sufficient.
The Seatankers Group’s ambition is to create shareholder value and it is determined to be a long-term shareholder of Valaris. Famatown may increase its position further from today’s levels.
Statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements include words or phrases such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “project,” “could,” “may,” “might,” “should,” “will” and similar words and specifically include statements relating to future financial performance and shareholder value. Forward-looking statements are aspirational and are not guarantees or promises that such expectations, plans, or goals will be met. They are also subject to numerous risks, uncertainties and assumptions that may cause actual results to vary materially from those indicated. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date of the particular statement and we undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking or other statements, except as required by law and notwithstanding any historical practice of doing so.
1 The beneficiaries of the Trusts are members of Mr. Fredriksen’s family. Mr. Fredriksen is neither a beneficiary nor a trustee of either Trust. Therefore, Mr. Fredriksen has no economic interest in the Shares and Mr. Fredriksen disclaims any control over these Shares, save for any indirect influence he may have with the trustee of the Trusts, in his capacity as the settlor of the Trusts.
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