US-based drilling contractor Noble Corporation has announced the sale of five jack-up rigs in an attempt to secure regulatory approval for its multibillion-dollar merger with Danish peer Maersk Drilling.

Noble and Maersk announced in November 2021 plans to an all-share merger that would see shareholders from both companies owning 50% each in the combined drilling giant.

However, the deal faced hurdles with the UK regulator, which argued the transaction could lead to a substantial lessening of competition in the offshore jack-up market in the North West Europe region covering the UK, Denmark and the Netherlands.