Offshore drilling contractors Transocean and Dolphin Drilling have reportedly made a revised offer to acquire the assets of cash-strapped rival Seadrill, valuing them at $1.7 billion.
Oslo-listed Seadrill, founded by Norwegian-born magnate John Fredriksen, hopes to emerge from US Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection under an alternative financial plan filed in court in July.
"I can confirm that Dolphin and Transocean submitted an updated bid," Dolphin chief executive Bjornar Iversen was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Norwegian business daily Finansavisen, which was first to report the new offer, said it valued Seadrill's assets at Nkr 15.4 billion ($1.7 billion).
However, for the bid to succeed, Transocean and Dolphin would need to convince Seadrill's creditors their offer is superior to the company's own restructuring plan.
Seadrill reportedly is sticking to its own plan.
"This has the support of almost two-thirds of our creditors, who not only support our plan but [also] our long-term business strategy and plans to emerge, with expediency, from Chapter 11," Seadrill spokesman Iain Cracknell told Reuters.
Industry sources claimed last month that a consortium of Transocean, Dolphin and an unidentified party had lodged a competing bid for Seadrill earlier in July.
Meanwhile, Noble Drilling — which only came out of bankruptcy protection earlier this year — itself tabled a bid for Seadrill's assets in May.
Seadrill is seeking to restructure more than $7 billion of debt in exchange for handing control of the company to its creditors. It operates 43 drilling rigs, including 10 managed on behalf of other players such as Northern Ocean and Aquadrill Offshore.