Schlumberger Sells Marine Seismic Acquisition Business to Shearwater

Updated 3 years ago

Shearwater acquires seven 3D seismic vessels, three multi-purpose ocean-bottom seismic vessels, 12 streamer sets, and two source vessels as well as manufacturing facilities in Norway and Malaysia for USD 600 million and a 15% equity interest in Shearwater. Schlumberger will also receive payments for a period of time under an earn-out agreement linked to future vessel usage above specific thresholds.

Schlumberger will have an option to utilize 2 vessels from Shearwater on potential multi-client work for the first 2 years after closing. USD 600 million in cash to Schlumberger and USD 50 million for working capital will be funded by USD 325 million in equity and USD 325 million in debt financing. Rasmussen has fully underwritten the equity issue, and GC Rieber Shipping intends to subscribe for approximately USD 28 million before closing. Debt financing will be provided by DNB and SpareBank 1 SR-Bank. Carnegie and DNB Markets has acted as financial advisor to Shearwater, and Arntzen de Besche acted as legal advisor. Pareto Securities has acted as financial advisor and Advokatfirmaet Schjødt as legal advisors for Schlumberger.

“We will combine two strong complementary businesses and create an industry-leading full-service geophysical company with a solid financial and strategic platform,” says Shearwater CEO, Irene Basili. “Our strategy has been to build a stronger company during the downturn, and we are very pleased to see the commitment made by our owners, which enables this transaction.”

“Our customers will benefit from our expansion as a full-service provider that has critical mass, global reach and long-term viability. We intend to grow, and we are committed to investing in technology and people to drive the efficiency of our services,” says Basili. “We will have a strong balance sheet with the sector’s lowest loan-to-value ratio and a leading cost position, which together with our technology and highly skilled people provide significant competitive advantages.”

WesternGeco president, Maurice Nessim, added, “With the divestiture of our marine seismic acquisition business, WesternGeco will be strategically positioned as one of the largest asset-light geophysical services providers in the oil and gas industry. Through access to the industry’s global marine fleet, including Shearwater’s vessels, we will continue to provide our customers with exploration and discovery services that leverage our leading global multi-client library, advanced seismic imaging and interpretation services, with the aim of helping to accelerate hydrocarbon discovery.”