Shelf targets $500m London IPO

Shelf Drilling has set its sights on a $500 million pot as it looks to launch an initial public offering (IPO) in London.

The Dubai-based jack-up player had been mooted earlier this year as targeting a flotation on the London Stock Exchange.

On Thursday it revealed that an IPO will look to raise "a minimum" of $500 million, with the issuance of new shares expected to raise $250 million of this.

The raised cash will in part be used to pay down some of its $350 million term loan.

A trio of private equity players - Champ Private Equity, Lime Rock and Harlan - helped set up Shelf in 2012 and it moved on to take over 38 shallow-water rigs from Transocean.

Champ managing director Nathaniel Childres said in early March that a listing in London was on the cards.

The number of shares to be offered was not mentioned, but there is expected to be an over-allotment facility of no more than 15% of the total.

Shelf said it intends to pursue a dividend pay-out policy of between 40% and 60% of net income once the float goes ahead.

The company currently has 37 jack-ups on the water, two others under construction and a single swamp barge. It concentrates on the markets of the Middle East, North Africa, Mediterranean, South-East Asia, India and West Africa.

Chief executive David Mullen said of the plan to float: "Since its creation in 2012, Shelf Drilling has proven the appeal of this offering to customers with strong growth in revenues and the exceptional development of our contract backlog.

"Becoming a public company will further enable us to invest in the drilling services our customers seek and build sustainable, profitable growth in the world’s most prolific hydrocarbon-bearing shallow water basins."

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